Karel Kachyna – Kocár do Vídne AKA Coach to Vienna (1966)
A WW2 story of a young Austrian soldier running from the Russian army and a woman whom he forces to come along in order to save his wounded mate.Review by More_Badass ★★★★½:
Steely revenge and humanity on the fringes of WW2. Two German soldiers – one slowly dying, the other young and skittish – force a Czech widow to transport them to the Austrian border, through a forest of patrols and partisans. While, unbeknownst to them, she meticulously plots her righteous vengeance. The closest analog that came to mind while watching Carriage to Vienna was Hellman’s Westerns. Similar to those distilled genre exercises, this is a minimal and near-parabolic thriller tone-poem, one that makes excellent use of Hitchcock’s classic axe-under-the-carriage style of suspense. A taut slow-burn that fills its concise 74 minutes with evolving tension and harrowing drama, its characters’ silences and disparate expressions lingering.
Gorgeously textured black-&-white cinematography capture the endless Czech woodlands with misty mythic grandeur. The road transforms into a stage seemingly divorced from the larger conflict, allowing its triptych of compelling performances to simmer and collide in stark isolation. The carriage transcends its intimate dynamic to become a rolling microcosm of wartorn society – the poisonous ideologue, the indoctrinated youth, the innocent victim – as dehumanization and hate is painfully chipped away by empathy.
A deliberate meditation on revenge and redemption wrapped in a quietly riveting thriller, with a powerful coda that brings its themes and wartime drama to an impactful conclusion.
851MB | 1h 15m | 1920×1080 | mkv