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Askew Review 15

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THE WOUNDS (First Run Features) 1999.  Drama. 103 minutes. NR, violence. Serbo-Croatian with English subtitles. Set in war torn Bosnia 1991-1996. Seeking a male role model, teenaged boys Pinki and Kraut become close friends with Dickie, the area mafia-like thug, in the hopes of gaining similar power and respect. As they quickly grow older and “wiser,” the boys wish to take the place of area crime bosses and do so in a very violent way. Along with gaining criminal popularity, the boys also aspire to appear as guests on a local tv show that highlights the misadventures of bad guys and portrays them as rock stars. Although Pinki and Kraut are gaining wealth, boys will be boys and the two start to think that they are invincible and deserve nothing less than respect from others, and even from each other.  After having a wedge seemingly split them in two, the boys stand face to face to even things out and make things even.
        Although the main story line is nothing new, the last 15 or so minutes of this movie is pretty damn intense. I tend to dislike the main characters in these types of criminal movies, however, I actually felt sorry for all of the characters depicted here. Living in a place like Bosnia must suck ass. There are a few humorous elements tossed in along with all the grime; one being the boys getting Kraut’s grandmother baked….hilarious. Dickie’s girlfriend is probably the hottest junkie I’ve ever seen! The location is phenomenal and perfectly sets the tone for desperate violence. The acting is also great. I’ve read that the tv show “The Street Pulse,” which treats criminals as rock stars, is a real show aired in Belgrade. I guess the cops aren’t too bright over there. Although not a powerful one, this move still packs a nice punch. – Denis Sheehan


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