Ne gledaj mi u pijat [Quit Staring at My Plate] (2016)

Ne gledaj mi u pijat
Director: Hana Jusic
Writer: Hana Jusic
Cast: Mia Petricevic, Niksa Butijer, Arijana Culina, Zlatko Buric, Karla Brbic, Bruna Bebic-Tudor, Marijana Mikulic, Daria Lorenci
Part of: Kaleidoskop Filmfestival
Seen on: 1.7.2019

Plot:
Marijana (Mia Petricevic) lives with her parents Lazo (Zlatko Buric) and Vera (Arijana Culina) and her disabled brother Zoran (Niksa Butijer) in a very small apartment. It is summer, everybody is hot and they are getting on each other’s nerves. But when Lazo has a stroke and suddenly becomes completely bedridden, things get even worse, and most of the responsibility seems to land on Marijana’s shoulder. It’s a burden, but maybe also an opportunity for Marijana to free herself a little.

Quit Staring at My Plate is an interesting film with a good main actor that offers insight into a reality that feels far removed from my own. Nevertheless, I didn’t quite connect with it.

The film poster showing Marijana (Mia Petricevic) wearing white underwear wedged in between her parents and her brother, all sweaty, who also are wearing just underwead.

I didn’t catch Quit Staring at My Plate on a very good day, I was a bit grumpy. That may have been part of the reason why I stayed a little removed from the film and didn’t get into it as much as I would have liked. But even if my mood had been better, I don’t think the film would have managed to win me over entirely. It’s simply a little too uneven. Perfectly understandable, given that it is a debut, but still.

That being said, there was a lot to like about the film, above all Petricevic who gives an excellent performance. And I can’t help but applaud a film that starts with a scene that shows its protagonist changing a sanitary napkin, including a shot of the bloody napkin itself. It’s a bold opening, and one that I definitely enjoyed.

Marijana (Mia Petricevic) looking back over her shoulder.

What I didn’t enjoy, though, was the ending that felt way too depressing and hopeless for my taste. There would have been space to spin things a little more positively than this, and it’s a pity that Jusic didn’t take that opportunity.

Still, Quit Staring at My Plate is far from a bad or uninteresting debut and I will be keeping my eye out for wat Jusic does next.

Marijana (Mia Petricevic) eating lunch with her brother Zoran (Niksa Butijer) at a street stand.

Summarizing: interesting enough.

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