Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hamlet in telenovela

There is a small messy country in SE Europe with a small messy entertainment industry.Movies are financed by the government,there is a public tv ,HRT,and two commercial tv stations,German owned RTL and Ronald Lauder's NOVA TV.

Their programs vacillate from bad to awful,with complete lack of respect for the general public.

Mainly they buy foreign movies and shows and the biggest attractions they offer are Turkish soaps.But every autumn there is a fresh Croatian telenovela,a product invented in 2005 and continued relentlessly till today.

Generally, they are bad, but the worst part is that people who make them despise the very work they are doing.Let me simplify : they are working on telenovelas for money but actually they would like to work on "Downtown Abbey" and act accordingly.The final results show their disdain,complete lack of responsibility and unimaginable amateurism.

Casting directors and talent agents in Croatia don't exist anymore and castings for the film and tv is done by directors or literally anyone who wants to.Their work consists of calling their friends,hiring "good looking" people from the street or simply copying the cast of the previous soap.The results are mostly catastrophic.

And then there are Croatian actors and actresses,a lively group of people trained by probably the worst drama school in the world.
For many years they continue to be the laughing stock of the public who stopped watching Croatian tv and movie products mainly because of the actors.

They are almost unbearably awful.No passion,no charisma,no talent and most certainly no skill to hide these flaws.The speech they are taught to use in school is so artificial that you can't find a living soul in the country who speaks that way except them.And yet,95% of them have a steady job in Croatian theaters.I mean a real job,with salary,benefits and paid vacations,a job that lasts for 30 years and then they merrily retire.The money is not fantastic but on average it is about 1000 euros.

Since it is never enough (money or fame),most of them (again,about 95%) accept roles in soaps they openly mock in private. So you can watch someone playing Hamlet  in Croatian National Theatre and the next day you can see him  as  the scornful lead or lead's best friend or the designated villain in some telenovela.

His acting is atrocious both on stage and on tv abut when he is on tv, he is arrogant enough to show how much he despises this particular role.It is inconceivable but somehow it happens every day on Croatian tv. 

Lears,Ophelias,Medeas,Caesars and various characters from classical literature are supplementing their income with  roles in telenovelas.

Can You imagine watching Robert De Niro playing pater families in soap opera?With Charlize Theron as his rich and unhappy daughter?No?Well,welcome to the absurd world of Croatian tv industry.

It is sad and it is offensive and it shows how little respect they have for their jobs.And the worst thing is the lack of professional decency they are showing by accepting the work they openly ridicule.Every genre in movies or on tv has its public.And that public deserves respect,professionalism, and quality,whatever they choose to watch.

And respect is definitely something Croatian entertainment industry and most of all acting professionals should learn.

Until then,they will remain a despicable bunch of amateurs.

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