Elsa Pataky is not only one of the most stylish and original directors to come out of Czech in the past few decades, but also one of the most challenging. Her script for the film is impeccable, but her vision and lack of ability to connect with her audience has kept this film from reaching the level of cult popularity that it deserves. Despite a few standout scenes, the film is not at all memorable, despite some very funny sequences. Perhaps it’s because they were simply too many scenes for the movie to take on in a sensible and logical manner.
Elsa Pataky starts out as Anna Pigeon, an American tourist who arrives in Prague to visit her family. Shortly after she realizes that her family owns a pizza parlor, she decides to work there after school and learn the business. Shortly after, her best friend moves away, and she develops feelings for the local boy. Everything seems fine until one day, when her husband returns from a business trip and informs her of his daughter Anna’s secret love of animals.
The next several minutes of the movie cover a lot of scenes of Anna working with animals in order to earn money and support herself while her parents are away. However, when she accidentally injures a horse and is sent to live with strangers, her outlook on life changes drastically. She soon finds herself fighting animals for their attention and to take care of them. This leads to her slowly developing a romantic interest in local animals such as dogs, rabbits, raccoons and rats.
The storyline of the film is interesting and engaging. Although it may seem a little far-fetched at first, you quickly get used to seeing these animals in the wild and appreciate just how well done this movie is at painting this world. The acting is also very good throughout. Elsa Pataky does an excellent job of creating a believable character with very human qualities.
The storyline is not the only reason to watch Pataky, though. The movie is also full of brilliant one-liners and funny moments. Some of the best lines involve animals being startled by a barking dog, and even the way that some animals respond to Elsa’s attempts at caring for them. When the movie reaches its climax, there is a terrific fight between the animals and Elsa which result in the death of a number of the animals.
Pataky tells the story of a girl who falls in love with animals but does not know how to deal with the constant fighting and cruelty that go along with it. The book gradually reveals more about Elsa and what exactly is going on in her head. While the book is funny in parts, it can be considered a bit disturbing because of Elsa’s attitude towards animals. The film does not skirt around this subject either, and includes some extremely graphic violence towards animals. If you are unfamiliar with this material, you should avoid watching the film entirely.
The movie is not perfect, however. There are some shaky sequences throughout that could use some work. The acting is also a little shaky at times. The main characters themselves are not so unique that they come off as two-dimensional. The film is not a disaster, but a mediocre comedy that most people will not remember after seeing it.
Overall, Elsa Pataky is a great little film that showcases the unique abilities of a comic singer-actor-performer-turned-actress. There are some good one-liners, and the storyline is quite creative. Pataky is one of those films that leaves you wanting for more. The film only lasts about three hours, but the time that it does spend on screen is enjoyable. Make sure to take in the rest of the excellent animated films that are produced by animation studios such as Pixar or Disney Feature Animation.