Jagoda in the Supermarket rating 
2/5 Jagoda in the Supermarket

Director Dusan Milic
Writer Dusan Milic
Stars Branka Katic, Srdjan Todorovic, Dubravka Mijatovic, Danilo Lazovic, Goran Radakovic
Running time 92 minutes
Country Serbia/Germany/Italy
Year 2003
Associated shops

Reviewed by Rebort

This farcical comedy set in a supermarket during a hostage situation was apparently a box office hit in Serbia. The audience I watched it with, which comprised of many Serbians, was laughing out loud throughout. However, much of the comedy was lost on me. Although this is a European co-production (France, Germany, Italy), maybe this is a case of humour not travelling well?

Jagoda (which means "strawberry") is a cash-in clerk who dreams that she will meet the man of her life in the American-styled supermarket she works at. When a brazen co-worker steals a potential date, in a huff she is rude to an old woman who wants to buy some strawberries. The next day a camouflaged gunman bursts into the supermarket to avenge the poor treatment of his grandmother by one of the staff and a hostage situation develops.

Things escalates when a SWAT team follow the police onto the scene and the macho head officer threatens to take the place by storm. Rather than panicking, Jagoda falls in with the gunman. Reality takes a backseat as, equally bizarrely, a crowd forms outside the supermarket that cheers on the gunman and boos the police. In the course of the film there are lots of bullets, guns, explosions and general mess as supermarket shelves are shot to bits, although nobody appears to die.

Some of the comedy works well. The supermarket's automatic glass entrance door that opens and closes of its own provides a running visual joke (slapstick is a mainstay of the film). There's some edgy humour in the SWAT boss's musings about democracy versus violence to solve problems. More might have been made more of the idea that the supermarket is an "American territory" and gunman as rebel against American imperialism and genetic engineering of food, but the satire has little bite (no pun, intended).

Seen through the prism of Serbia's recent experience, the many jokes about tough guys turning soft and soft-headed, make much more sense, even if there is a feeling that you aren't quite in on it.

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