Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5
Original title: Svata Ctverice
Alternate title: The Holy Quaternity
Czech Republic, 2012. In Film Praha. Screenplay by Michal Viewegh. Cinematography by Martin Sacha. Produced by Rudolf Biermann. Music by Ondrej Galuska, Ondrej Kopicka. Costume Design by Katarina Bielikova. Film Editing by Vladimir Barak. Toronto International Film Festival 2012.
Jan Hrebejk’s movies always employ a deliciously light tone in dealing with humanity’s most affable frailty, the need to find joy through relationships and sexuality. This is among his lightest offerings, a sweet tale of boundary pushing that occurs when two Prague electricians are employed to restore the infrastructure of a Caribbean island destroyed in a hurricane. Deciding to take their wives along with them, the foursome find themselves stranded in paradise and willing to undertake a dangerous proposition: as all four of them find each other attractive, why not swap partners and have group sex? So long as everyone keeps their cool the experiment couldn’t possibly be a disaster and, besides, it’s all in the name of vacation anyway. What this film does best is examine the aftermath of their bold move without laying on the levels of guilt and morality that you would expect from a film with this subject matter. The downside is that Hrebejk does not replace that finger-pointing with anything strong enough to resemble a third act, and the film ends on a weak note. Despite this drawback, it’s a pleasure to watch and the entire cast is wonderful.