The true story of Honzo from Smetana Lhota will impress and tire you

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Sagvan Tofi congratulated Jaromír Jágr, the family of Radoslav Kováč floated, you can’t miss Jiří Jarošík, biathlon champion Gabriela Soukalova, Jiří Novotný arrived with the director Vojtěch Nouzák, there was Mr. Suchopárek, Horňák, Ulich, Jarošík… here are the relatives and friends of the main characters from Smetana Lhota.

The centerpiece of Wednesday’s festive premiere in Slovanské dům is a two-meter-tall man, where the film Jan Koller – the story of an ordinary boy – was shot. Yesterday, as today, his person connects the world of ordinary people who prefer to relax by the fire, where they heat a steak, with the world of bon vivants, models and the most expensive which are champagne brands.

Football is like a mouse hole, a shortcut to jump between these worlds. After all, every successful footballer writes a story about a boy who, thanks to talent and hard work, found happiness.

But Koller’s story is more unique. As a boy, he usually did not know how to play football. “I didn’t really like him as a football player,” his coach Petr Koller said in the film.

Why Jan Koller is so admired at Dortmund.Video: Petr Větrovský

But then a series of events began, which by a special twist of fate led the boy from the village to Sparta Prague, where he suddenly sat in a cabin with, for example, Pavel Nedvěd, then to Belgium, where he really learns. play football in Lokeren.

And the football elevator takes him higher, to Anderlecht, to Borussia Dortmund, to the national team, to the World and European championships… And from the elephant’s box, laughed at by many, he suddenly became a living legend of Czech football, a record holder for the number of goals scored. But a kind, not secretive and smiling boy from the village.

Koller’s life story intersects with fairy tales How Honza from Smetana Lhota became happy in the world with About the ugly chick who became an elegant swan. “This is for a movie for Hollywood,” Pavel Nedvěd often said.

And the director Petr Větrovský took the theme and filmed it. “Jarda Jágr told me: Honza Koller’s story is better than mine. Above all, don’t..r,” confided the director of the film before the premiere.

Koller in the movie

For Borussia Dortmund fans, striker Jan Koller is a legend. Not just because of your goals or your unquestionable character. He did not run away when the club found itself in an economic and sporting crisis, and that was not forgotten. This is also about the movie Jan Koller.

He made a feature-length documentary in which Jan Koller revisits the places he passed through in his career. And with the people he met there then and now, he tells his extraordinary story.

After Smetana Lhota again by tractor

After Smetana’s Lhota, he drives a tractor, and arrives at Sparta again in a disgusting Škoda 105, where a few years ago they wouldn’t even let him into the club’s parking lot. He then happily drives around Monaco on the tenant’s scooter.

He tells about moments of happiness, but also the deepest destruction, when a group of Spartan greasers conspired against him. Or when his then lover told him that he would not come to Lokeren to see her. “I never saw him after that…”

Whether you are a football fan or not, at least the first half hour of the movie is sure to steal your heart. It will be introduced to you by a shy young man not unlike František Koudelk from STS Chvojkovice-Brod and his summer chapter about a shining comet that was removed from the sky by the competition threatened by its brilliance.

The anti-hero goes into exile, where his superpowers are focused to their maximum and he returns to the scene as a super hero. No, it’s not comic book nonsense, it’s also a living part of Jan Koller’s story.

Koller in Ušák

People who don’t believe in him, who hurt him, parade here. Even people without help will not improve his path in life. Mr. Tichý, who once did his best to include Koller in the training of Spartan B. Or Willy Reynders, who gave Koller incredible individual care in Lokeren and fundamentally improved his coordination with movement and kicking technique.

And simsalabim… The super scorer for Anderlecht, Dortmund or the Czech national team is over.

Talking heads are constantly paraded on the screen in front of us, alternating shots of goals and game situations… And what is fun at the beginning becomes tiresome over time.

It won’t win the Palme d’Or, but it’s an honest film

Větrovský et al. decided to honestly tell all the chapters of Koller’s life, including Nuremberg, Samara, the not entirely happy idea of ​​​​returning to the national team… And here the imaginary chain of the film completely collapses. And honestly, you’re kind of waiting for it to be over.

One hundred and twelve minutes seems like a very long footage for this way of telling, which is not scale, on the contrary. Better dramaturgy would have benefited the film in this sense.

A trained documentary director would have captured many elements more authentically. When, for example, Jan Koller and her daughters decorate the Christmas tree, you feel like they are playing a little show in front of the camera.

And these are, admittedly, details that probably won’t win the film about Jan Koller the Palme d’Or from Cannes. However, that’s still no reason why you shouldn’t watch a movie about Jan Koller.

Difficulty Koller had to face

The film Jan Koller tells the fairytale story of Honzo from Smetana Lhota, who conquered the world of football. But he does not avoid the moment that there are difficulties in his journey. And that’s in the cabin of football Sparta.

As football fans who remember his football career, or the younger ones who want to know it, really go to the movie. And bring your wife or girlfriend with you, they can appreciate the story of how the beautiful man moved from the village to the lions of the salons, without stopping to be himself, more than loops and goals.

Director Petr Větrovský, former director of the Příbram football club, is more of a marketer and promoter than an actor. But he made the film about the honest man Jan Koller honestly.

The film is set to hit Netflix and is expected to be shown in Westphalian cinemas, where it could appeal to Borussia Dortmund fans. And also in Belgium, where Koller became the idol of Lokeren and Anderlecht.

If you consider yourself a fan of the Czech national football team, go here too. Jan Koller will not disappoint you. Neither on the field nor on the screen.

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