Slapstick aplenty is served to us by Yernar Nurgaliyev’s horror-comedy, Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It. With an added generous helping of gore to keep us going, we are left with a film that struggles to break the one-dimensional stereotypes.
After accidentally witnessing a murder by a group of thugs, the three friends are suddenly on the run to escape their violent clutches, and then things turn even wilder. With a mysterious one-eyed man out for blood and a desperate wannabe bride and her pushy father in the mix, the body count starts to rise. But, never mind fishing, will Dastan make it out alive and get to the hospital in time to witness the birth of his child?
What perhaps strikes most about Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It is how it almost loses itself in its inane daftness. Continually teetering on the edge of losing you, it manages to balance itself right somehow, through violence, humour and horror together in a goofy little package.
However, there is the slight struggle of keeping all of these rather one-dimensional characters going. How many assholes can you fit into the film seems to be the order of the day, from our three “heroes” to even the bank employee who calls Dastan at the beginning of the film. With no real likeable characters, it does become a challenge, or maybe that is the point, to have us hate these characters so much that when we see them get hurt as they try to escape, we cheer a little?
By having fun with the concept of toxic masculinity, we get to see how one event spirals into a horrendous situation for a group of people. This poking allows for the moments that usually would fall flat, bringing a laugh or two as everyone stumbles their way to the next scene. With some hope, that was the case anyway, as it would be rather difficult to commend a film that tried to keep it straight with these men. Here, the comparisons to The Hangover films come forward, and you can see it. Finally, these hateful men are getting a little bit of what they deserve, and as each toxic guy pops up and gets picked off, you do begin to enjoy the film.
Nurgaliyev seems to try to bring the characters around to growing up or becoming more adult and learning something when in reality, this film never needs that. These are a group of idiots, in an unbelievable situation, let that ride out. By giving them a forced moment like that, it almost betrays from what came before it, and there is an awful lot of fun to be had throughout Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It.
The film carries the dynamic between the three leads; much like The Hangover, if these three were not as connected as they seem, the film would flounder all around itself. Daniar Alshinov (Dastan), Azamat Marklenov (Arman) and Erlan Primbetov (Murat) deliver great performances even when an innumerable amount of sex dolls surrounds them.
As the nonsense progresses, you find yourself having a soft spot for the film, and with it running at a very tight 84 minutes, it knows it cannot waste time getting to the story. Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It is perhaps a film that doesn’t fully click all the way with audiences, but when it is firing on all cylinders, it really does surprise you.
Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It is out now on digital and Blu-ray release from 101 Films
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