Home > Drama >

A Perfect Day

A Perfect Day (2016)

January. 15,2016
| Drama Comedy War

Somewhere in the Balkans, 1995. A team of aid workers must solve an apparently simple problem in an almost completely pacified territory that has been devastated by a cruel war, but some of the local inhabitants, the retreating combatants, the UN forces, many cows and an absurd bureaucracy will not cease to put obstacles in their way.


Watch Trailer


Similar titles


Imran Ahmed

Anyone with interest in either the Yugoslav civil war or aid work in conflict zones will find the movie insightful. The movie brings together a diverse set of characters interacting during the course of one day. These individuals are not only aid workers, including two women - one a newbie and another straight from the city and 'civilization' struggling to adapt to the realities found in a war zone - but also two locals, i.e. a local child and an interpreter. The plot revolves around aid workers attempting to restore water supply to local villagers from a contaminated well. What appears to be a simple exercise becomes at times dangerous and at other times frustrating due to the behavior of bureaucratic 'do-gooders' UN peacekeepers. Many may dispute my '8' rating given that at times the movie moves slowly as there is little action . However, the film is peppered with humor - lightening the heavy nature of the subject - and makes a strong political statement. Those factors pushed the rating up.


Characters & Story (with Commentary)It all begins, and ends, with a dead body in a well. Mambru (Benicio Del Toro) and Damir (Fedja Stukan) tried to get it out, but their rope breaks. Sophie (Mélanie Thierry) makes it a huge thing when they return to the UN base, and with her getting rebuffed comes her pushing the others of her group to go against orders. So everyone, including B (Tim Robbins) a grade-A eccentric, head off to find a rope.But, with this rope journey comes Nikola (Eldar Residovic), a child who lost their ball to bullies who Mambru feels sorry for, and then Katya (Olga Kurylenko). Now, while Nikola's part in this story isn't necessarily huge, nor Katya when I think about it, both are perhaps the only reason Mambru isn't forgettable. For while Sophie is identifiable by how passionate she is about the locals having clean water, and B is memorable for how out there he is, the other two are a bit dull. Though Nikola and Katya change that. Nikola shows Mambru has a soft side and with Katya, while we know Mambru has a reputation, as well as a girlfriend, Katya, sadly, helps push the idea he is some sort of reformed man.Leaving us with a film which sort of presents the idea that humanitarian aid workers come in all shapes, sizes, and bring their own unique sense of drama. HighlightsAs individuals, I must admit both B and Sophie are intriguing enough that it almost makes you wish this film was just about those two. B would be the one who is willing, and mentally able, to do whatever it takes to get the job done, and Sophie may be reluctant to follow B's methods, but since red tape and "No" don't go well with her sense of justice, she goes along with it. To me, that would have been interesting and paired with us getting to know their history and journey, it could have made for a decent film. Low Points>The film ends and begins at a well and it bugs me out a little bit for that is all this 1 hour and 46-minute movie is about. They are searching for a rope, and then they throw in some mentions of Mambru's love life. Which, even with damn near every supporting character doing her best to make him seem interesting, it just doesn't work.>The lack of commentary was a bit disappointing to me. There isn't much said about the war in the Balkans, much less how much difficulty they had being aid workers in the region. Instead, as noted, we get a bit of relationship drama and watch the group search for rope.>I was left wondering why any of the cast, besides Sophie, wanted to become aide workers? For while there is downtime here and there, there isn't much of an attempt to allow us to get to know the characters. We don't get to see why they would go into an area filled with mines that could easily kill them, we aren't given the chance to understand why, likely for years, they have been aid workers, much less, while it is clear that everyone knows everyone, there isn't any epic story between them which really makes them seem like the type of group who would stick their neck out for one another. If anything, they just seem like they were assigned together, witnessed or heard somethings, and just pick on one another most of the time. Which, for what I know, could be how things are, but it made for a bleh viewing experience.>I did not understand, for the life of me, how taking a child, Nikola, and keeping him for about a day, made any sense to Mambru? They are in an area in which the military still has a strong presence, and people are still being murdered and illegally detained, there is always the chance that between their convoy, or the UN base, they could have been attacked and, lastly, what Mambru did damn near looks like a kidnapping. Something Katya says and while it is good Nikola's grandfather doesn't flip out, considering the murder, and likely kidnappings, in the area, it makes the film all seem too convenient. Be it the Nikola situation, or everything else that happens.Final Thought(s): Skip ItSometimes I have quite a difficult time deciding between what to skip and what to just lump into TV Viewing, and then there are films like this. One which, as much as it has potential in some areas, I find myself more so finding things to pick over than to praise. Leaving me without much of a, "yeah this and this may suck, but this compensates for that immensely." Which is something I can't say with this film. There is nothing really within this film to compete with its shortcomings, thus leaving me thinking this film isn't worth your time and whatever effort it would take to see this film. For despite, on paper, potentially being interesting, it fails to pick up on any topic which could have been a bright point. Be it a child's point of view of the war, witnessing the lives of aid workers, or even making this into the type of adventure which, yes, may have been about something as simple as getting a rope, but at least had the type of characters who made a simple journey worth following.


A group of aid workers work to resolve a crisis in an armed conflict zone. Although slow paced the film "A Perfect Day" succeeds on many levels thanks to a cast of talented people such as Benicio Del Toro, Tim Robbins, Olga Kurylenko and even some new faces such as Mélanie Thierry. The film is mostly about this aid workers that try to take a dead body out of a pit but they can't do that because the government thinks that there might be some explosives down there as the film continues we meet a young boy called Nikola played by Eldar Residovic who is also good we learn about his backstory about his parents and his grandpa but he also tries to help our characters to find a rope in order to get that body out of there. Although in the end that doesn't happen but it happens in a different way that i won't spoil it's by no means a perfect movie but it's for sure a really good one and a surprising well made one i give it a 7.5 out of 10.


At first I was reluctant to see this film. The trailer showed Americans somewhere in the Balkans, observing the cruelty of war and helping out with their Western sensibilities. I've rarely seen a movie with this subject that I enjoyed.However, A Perfect Day is not that kind of movie. Firstly, it is deeply European! The violence is only hinted at - strange for a film made by a Spaniard :) - yet the viewer is awash in frustrations of the daily life of relief workers: the UN bureaucracy, the indifference of both international authorities and whatever local ones are, the lack of recognition from the people you try to help, lack of resources and going through all kinds of wacky situations.Yet the movie stands strangely on a pervasively optimistic note. The irony of the title doesn't come from the day not being perfect, but because it is the absolute best day in the life of these people, even when they couldn't do anything but not mess up completely.The acting is great, the script was fantastic, it is a worthwhile movie to watch.