This wonderfully subtle comedy is the debut film of a great director and a signature work of the Czech New Wave. Ivan Passer's film concerns the dreams of two musician friends, one of whom, having left their small hometown to become successful, returns to visit the other who stayed behind at the local music school.
Who could resist this film ? Why would they want to ? Gentle, human, comic, inspired and sometimes completely brilliant, it has a kind of low-key wonder in the little acts and emotions of life that leaves the watcher smiling, laughing, crying, gasping, nodding and, yes, thinking. The whole film is a collection of brilliant touches, quiet but telling. Characters are both naive and thoughtful, funny but never mocked. The story is slight but perfectly enough. And the ending is one of the most wonderful moments you are ever likely to see in cinema. And how often do you see people playing musical instruments in a film (about music, after all) who are actually playing : a casting choice typical of the realistic delights of this wonderful piece of work.