After struggling to establish a narrative in its early stages, Life is a Trumpet finds a groove and settles into it – resulting in a sweet comedy-drama that keeps things light and inconsequential. Writer and Director Antonio Nuic doesn’t shoot for big laughs, but finds a few along the way as a talented cast sell a slightly underdeveloped script.
The family relationships at the centre of Life is a Trumpet are sweet and rooted in natural chemistry between the cast, although the film doesn’t concern itself with delving into anything deeper in these relationships. Bojan Navojec as Boris takes the lead and charms with his bumbling affability, however his wife Jana, played by Iva Babic, is the one to tie the families – and the film – together.
The plot is anchored by family gatherings spread throughout the film. These scenes with everyone together are particularly splendid – a wedding in the first act is a lot of fun, and by the time the film rounds up with a Christmas Eve bash, one wishes to see this family through the New Year, and Easter too.
Overall, Life is a Trumpet is stylistically understated. Nuic refrains from flashy camerawork, and lets his cast do the legwork – although the script wouldn’t stand up on its own without such realistic performances. The plot relies heavily on the kind of miscommunication and misunderstandings that wouldn’t be out of place in a ‘60s sitcom, and this makes the resulting conclusion anticlimactic.
With a jazzy through line that keeps the film moving as the one touch of flair in the movie, Life is a Trumpet may not be the most audacious piece of cinema. However, its charming relaxed nature and slew of friendly characters make this a fun flick worth your time.
CAST: Bojan Navojec, Iva Babic, Mirela Brekalo, Zlatko Vitez
DIRECTOR: Antonio Nuic
WRITER: Antonio Nuic
SYNOPSIS: Life Is a Trumpet has a loose jazz musician as the groom, a butcher as his father, and two families of different backgrounds whose members are not as different as one might expect.