Happy End


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Happy End
"Repeated viewings also reveal the beautiful circularity of the film that begins at more than one end."

This darkly comic animated debut from Jan Saska - who made the film as a part of his degree - may be drawn in black and white but all is not how it first appears. Running backwards in time, from a hospital to an uneven street, the film tracks a series of unfortunate events - and just when you think the jokes may have reached the end of the road, Saska pulls out the ultimate punchline.

Starting with a pay-off and then working up to it is a hard act to maintain but each part of Saska's film is populated by vivid comic characters and searing slapstick. In one a farmer ploughs a field, while gradually drinking the contents of a beer crate - all to the sound of Czech metal band Alkehol ironically singing Pijeme S Laskou (We Drink With Love) - while in another, shots are the all-too-appropriate drink of choice for a group of overweight hunters on a spree. In the third, it's a driver's preoccupation with lighting a cigarette that proves his downfall.

Copy picture

Although only six minutes long, this short is full of life, from the bouncing hunters to the blackly humorous detailing, such as smears of blood when the (un)fortunate victim of the piece finally makes it to hospital or a single blood drop falling from a tree. There's so much going on that it easily invites multiple viewings, particularly the hunting segment where the rhythms of shotgun cocking and the ringing of the drinks bell are perfectly accompanied by the sort of accordion music usually reserved for Oktoberfest beer halls. Repeated viewings also reveal the beautiful circularity of the film that begins at more than one end.

Reviewed on: 09 Oct 2016
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A black comedy animation about death with a happy ending.

Director: Jan Saska

Writer: Jan Saska

Year: 2016

Runtime: 6 minutes

Country: Czech Republic

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