★★★ Watched 25 Mar, 2020
During the Coronavirus quarantine, the Slovene film database offered free streaming of various Slovene films and shorts. The first one I chose to watch was Gremo mi po svoje 2 a youth comedy set during the annual scout camping in the Alps. I liked the first one and the sequel lived up to it in my eyes. More so than for example another popular youth comedy duo from my childhood Poletje v školjki (A Summer in a Sea Shell, 1985) and Poletje v školjki 2 (A Summer in a Sea Shell 2, 1988). Poletje v školjki is set in a tiny coastal town Piran, where I spent my every summer vacation since my birth and the sequel in Ljubljana, where I lived the first 25 years of my life. I had to mention that because I have a personal connection to the theme of Gremo mi po svoje (2010) as well considering I spent 14 consecutive summers in similar scout camps all over Slovenia since I was 8 years old.
The story of the sequel involves a rivalry with another scout camp that originates from a different part of Slovenia that has the second-largest city in the country (Maribor), which is traditionally in constant competition with the capital (Ljubljana). The characterization plays with a cliche that the guys from Štajerska region like to drink way too much and the girls are very pretty. Which from my personal experience is absolutely true. The same goes for the rivalry with another scout troop – another personal experience, although we had camps much farther apart.
Now the movie itself can be quite funny, especially if you have some scouting background. For example, it is customary to announce the stealing of the flag and then upon successful completion of the task send a representative to ask for the price to return it (I had to do that at least once). And then, of course, plan a revenge counter move. It is all part of fun and games as long as it is done with mutual respect and spirit of scoutship.
The plot twist is a classic comedy trope also used in already mentioned Poletje v školjki, where the rivalry is replaced by unity to confront a common enemy. In this case in the form of a female EU inspector. Honestly, there’s not much more to the story apart from some teenage romance, which again is a natural and common part of any youth summer camp.
I would like to compliment the cinematography, which shows of beautiful Slovene nature, especially the protected Alpine region. Dialogs are not bad, but in a typical Slovene way sometimes a bit too awkward, especially when it comes to the scenes with young actors. It is extremely hard to find young actors (in any Slovene movie) that are truly comfortable in front of the camera. I guess we just don’t have a big enough pool to choose from and a lack of tradition having a drama class at every school. The problem with most Slovene movies, I see now, is not the ideas or intention, but the execution. It rarely feels natural and unforced to some extent. Talking about clumsiness, I have another gripe with Slovene film style that seems to have a persistent need to find a way to include bizarre or esoteric sequence or two to show off or at least express the author’s undeniable artistic spirit. Yes, there is a time and a place for that, but not in a commercial movie aimed at teenagers! Although in this case, it was nice to see two legendary drama actors in those scenes.
Overall I would recommend it for the fun and loving nostalgic spirit of scout camping as well as age-old neighborhood rivalry that is not hard to get behind even though you can’t follow all the regional in-jokes.