Director: Zdenek Troska
Writer: Zdenek Troska
Cast: Jan Dolanský, Veronika Kubarová, Miroslav Hrabe, Tatána Krchovová, Tatjana Medvecká, Pavel Kikincuk, Premysl Kubista, Ladislav Potmesil, Miroslav Táborský
Matej (Jan Dolanský) is very much in love with Majdalenka (Tatána Krchovová) but her father is not really for him as a son-in-law as he has nothing whatsoever to his name. So Matej goes out into the world to make his fortune. His penchant for riddles brings him to court, where the princess (Veronika Kubarová) has promised to marry the first man to solve her three riddles. But that is only the start of his adventure.
We saw The Loveliest Riddle in the course of the exhibition about costumes – and the costumes really were fantastic. Everything else was pretty low-budget, though at least partly charming.
Both the cast as well as the director were pretty ham-fisted. There was some decidedly enjoyable scenery-chewing, though, and Miroslav Hrabe and Veronika Kubarová actually show some talent. Not that that matters much, with the material given by Zdenek Troska.
The script is rather trite and I did have huge problems with Matej as a character: I just did not like him. I caught myself several times thinking that he really was an ass – not the ideal sentiment you want people to have towards your protagonist, usually.
I also found the way the women were portrayed pretty exasperating. Majdalenka did nothing but cry and wait and cry and wait. The only thing where she showed strength was in her resolve to stay faithful to Matej, and even that falters halfway through. And the princess (I don’t remember if she actually gets a name in the film) who on the surface seems wilfull and smart, caves completely to Matej – never able to solve his riddles and following his commands to the point where she basically falls in love with the person that he chooses for her.
But apart from that and the movie running a little too long, it was quite entertaining. And the costumes really were stunning, especially the ones the robbers were wearing and the dresses of the French court lady.
Summarising: It’s fine. Not great, but fine.