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SARY MYSYQ / YELLOW CAT (2020, KAZ) Movie review, plot, trailer


I remembered the Kazakh filmmaker Adilkan Yerzhanov after the previous film, the black-humored absurdist crime “A Dark, Dark Man”. That film impressed me so much that I included it in the list of the top 30 films I watched in 2021, but unfortunately his next film is still a step backwards. Stylistically, “Yellow Cat” is almost identical to the previous film, and Jerzhanov seems to be trying to become a kind of Kazakh Aki Kaurismaki. Again, everything here seems a bit absurd with some deadpan humor and it is obvious that Jeržanov has an eye for composition and details. The plot takes place somewhere in the middle of nowhere in the Kazakh province and Jerzhanov masterfully framed and designed the scenes, shot it with a lot of style, but not even close to the film that premiered in the Horizons section of the Venice Festival did not sit as “A Dark, Dark Man “.

We follow in this strange film the story of a bizarre guy named Kermek who has just come out of prison whose dream is to open a cinema somewhere in that wolf fuck. Everyone thinks I’m an idiot, Kermek keeps repeating, but I have a plan, and that plan is to open a movie theater on a piece of land owned by his uncle. And his knowledge of films is questionable and Melville’s “Le Samourai” he talks about all the time seems to be the only film he’s ever watched. But before he even gets a chance to realize his idea, Kermek will have all sorts of more accidents than the ones in this surrealist drama. In search of a job, he will be recruited by a police officer who is also the head of a local criminal organization, and his paths will soon be connected with the red-haired prostitute Eva.

Almost like in some bizarre, childish, mentally retarded version of Lynch’s “Wild at Heart” or Coen’s “Arizona Junior,” Kermek and Eva will become a similar pair of social outcasts who have a completely unrealistic and unattainable desire and idea. I have the impression that Jerzanov didn’t take his story very seriously, which he probably imagined as a joke and a strange parody of the aforementioned films, because he divided “Yellow Cat” into seven chapters that begin with a scribble that looks like it was drawn by a child. Although this film has a certain charm and Jeržanov confirmed that he is a director of interesting style, it all remained somewhat thin and banal, and yet not overly witty, to deserve a better grade.


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