Fair Play

2014 [CZECH]

Drama / Sport

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 59%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 59%
IMDb Rating 6.8/10 10 1098 1.1K

Top cast

907.91 MB
Czech 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 38 min
Seeds 11

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Andy-296 8 / 10

Interesting Czech film

I remember that in the 1980s it was widely said in the West that the athletic triumphs of the Eastern Bloc were due to widespread doping. This interesting Czech movie tells that story. It's not on the level of The Lives of Others (which has a very similar theme) but is quite good.

The movie is set in 1983, as the sports machine of the state prepares for the Los Angeles Olympics of the following year (that Czechoslovakia finally boycotted with the rest of the Eastern bloc the 1984 Olympics - something I suppose most viewers are aware of so this is not a spoiler - serves as a sort of ironic coda at the end). It tells the story of Anna (Judit Bardos), a top level runner, but with some dubious connections, as far as the State is concerned. Her mother Irena (Anna Geislerova), with whom Anna lives, was once herself a top athlete, but after being one of the protesters in the 1968's Prague Spring, has been demoted to a menial job as a cleaner. Irena is still in contact with dissidents, especially Kriz (Roman Zach) to whom she helps in printing his anti government screeds, and as a result she is harassed by the Czech secret police. Her former husband (Anna's father) has escaped to the West, and Irena wants Anna to follow him, even if that means living alone. The crucial drama is when the coaches decide to give Anna a drug called Stromba which enhances her performance, but has some serious health side effects.

Bardos is fine as Anna, though the pretty, petite actress doesn't have quite the physique du role of a top level athlete. The good recreation of the 1980s certainly helps.

Reviewed by yoggwork 5 / 10

The title is ironic

The title is ironic. Do Western athletes not take doping? Of course, people rely more on ethnic advantages. Natural bodies must be limited. Behind every record, there will be a pot of medicine.

Reviewed by timlin-4 5 / 10


Movies about talented athletes training are interesting, as are movies about totalitarian governments, but while this movie is well made it seems to just go through the motions. First of all we don't get a very good sense of Anna's struggles or accomplishments as an athlete. The political oppression of her family is also only partly sketched. While this leaves something for the viewer to figure out, it really undercuts the drama and significance of events. And we are supposed to believe that Anna initially doesn't realize that the secret injections she is getting contain a banned performance enhancing drug. So it seems we are watching a movie about a mediocre athlete who is also unfamiliar with truth. Added to this are her mother's strange actions, which are supposed to be the tragic result of the government system, but come across more as silly due to her obscure motivations. There is some dramatic tension, and the ending is acceptable, but this movie is half-baked.

Read more IMDb reviews

1 Comment

Be the first to leave a comment