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  Sweetie, You Won't Believe It Bloody Bros
Year: 2020
Director: Yernar Nurgaliyev
Stars: Daniar Alshinov, Yerbulan Daiyrov, Asel Kaliyeva, Rustem Zhaniyamanov
Genre: Horror, Comedy, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Dastan (Daniar Alshinov) is not having the best of times in the run up to his wife Zhanna (Asel Kaliyeva) giving birth to their first child, not least because she harangues him at every turn, picking apart every little thing he does wrong, even stuff he considers innocuous. Today, as he buys groceries for her, she is in contact over his earphones, still criticising him and actually testing his patience now, so when he gets another call from the bank telling him his loan needs to be returned, and the call centre operator demands to know what kind of man he is anyway, it is clear Dastan needs a break. Time to get away with the lads, just for a fishing trip, how about tomorrow? What could be more relaxing to clear his poor, addled head?

Guess he picked the wrong day to go fishing, as he finds out as he escapes from his wife's shrewish barrage - though she does have a point, her waters could break at any moment - and heads off in his mate's camper van with two of said friends who like to think they are doing Dastan a favour under some form of brotherhood code of conduct. Before the day is out, this will have been exposed as a sham, just as his marital bliss appears utterly out of his grasp, which does beg the question, well, what can a chap rely on in this world, then? Director Yernar Nurgaliyev did not provide an answer to that question and neither did his team of writers, all of whom looked dead set on creating the Kazakh answer to Hollywood's The Hangover comedy franchise.

Or perhaps it was a riposte to Sacha Baron Cohen and his team of writers, whose Borat character was such a source of frustration in Kazakhstan, painting them as a nation of inbred morons and laughing in their faces when they protested. Was this the Kazakhs showing them how you made a real comedy from their part of the globe? To be honest, apart from the inbred aspect (which, in most cases, did not apply) it was difficult to see this cast of characters as much of an improvement when it came to raising or even improving their international profile, yet importantly the joke was on them while being delivered by them, and that does make a difference. While it began like some hackneyed sitcom with the henpecked husband at centre stage, it quickly escalated into its own brand of bloody insanity you could envisage having the locals rolling in the aisles. It was reminiscent of the earlier flop Very Bad Things, only this hit its targets more successfully.

They did lay on Dastan's domestic problems pretty thick, and in truth there wasn't a great deal of humour to be mined from them, but once we got out into the countryside there was more invention on display as the trio of dafties set in motion a series of events that may not see them all survive the day, and not just because Zhanna will have their guts for garters. A poorly handled bottle of urine results in a van of small-time gangsters running over the beloved dog of... well, it was difficult to say what he was, but he did have a large scar and apparent invincibility when anyone tried to kill him, unfortunate when he is determined to kill everyone else. You could kind of perceive a shot at Hollywood style of bad taste bro laughs, not always the best idea, but quite often what the filmmakers concocted was so ludicrous that you could not help but laugh, almost despite yourself. You might not feel that ashamed at going along with this, but it did have guilty pleasure all over it, assuming you felt any guilt at this sort of broad and cheerfully revolting material. Music by Nazarbek Orazbekov.

Aka: Zhanym, ty ne poverish

[Premieres at FrightFest 28th August 2021 and on digital early 2022.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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