TAD 2021: Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It dir. Yernar Nurgaliyev

Kazakhstan delivers Toronto After Dark’s Opening Night Gala Film, Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It, and it sets up perfectly what to expect from TAD if this is your first time. There is going to be blood, wild on-screen deaths, laugh out loud moments, uncomfortable humour, and a lot of cross genre entertainment.

Datsan (Daniar Alshinov) is tired of the harping of his very pregnant wife, Zhanna (Asel Kaliyeva) and slips out on her one morning to have a fishing trip with his two inept buddies, a would-be district police officer, Murat (Yerlan Primbetov) and Arman (Azamat Marklenov).

Laughs and goofiness abound as the trio let loose, but things take a turn for the worse when their trip passes by a murder in progress by a quartet of would be criminals (one of whom constantly faint at the sight of blood). But that’s just the beginning of their problems as both groups find themselves hunted by a one-eyed psycho!

There are a lot of laughs, tense moments, and a moment when Primbetov seems to be channeling his Inner Rock (made all the more hilarious considering the character’s size)! The kills are wonderfully vivid, the plot is hilarious, and everything plays out as you would hope it would. But will Zhanna believe any of it? Especially as she goes into labor while all of this is going on, and Datsan is nowhere to be found!

What follows is a fun little romp that will deliver exactly what After Dark film goers love, and consequently this is a great one to open the festival with, and welcome back the loyal audience who has been waiting to gather and commune again.

The film slips easily from genre to genre, and the leads have no problem making the viewer laugh, before cringing at something truly horrific. It walks the line easily, and is an entertaining opening night film for TAD.

The film really shines when it tackles the comedy in a horror situation, and it’s a lot of fun watching things play out. There’s physical comedy, double takes, and some wonderfully delivered kills, that makes this film incredibly enjoyable.

There were a number of moments throughout the film that were just joyous as I reveled in the fact that I was enjoying a Toronto After Dark official selection. I have missed the exposure to films, directors, writers and actors, I may have never heard of if it had not been for this festival.

Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It opens the Toronto After Dark Film Festival today! And you can tickets for it and all of the festival’s other films here. So make your popcorn, get your beverage of choice and settle in for one of the most enjoyable film festivals out there, Toronto… After Dark.

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