January 30, 2009 (Limited U.S.)
Borce Nacev as Dr Lazar Perkov
Vesna Stanojevska as Menka
Sabina Ajrula-Tozija as Dr. Vera Perkova
Salaetin Bilal as Gerasim
Ratka Radmanovic as Kalina
Filareta Atanasova as Gordana
By Horror Queen
Milcho Machevski’s independent film Shadowsis a haunting tale that details a young doctor’s attempt at gaining his life back after a horrendous car accident. Miraculously unscathed physically, Lazar’s wounds are more psychological in nature as he encounters mysterious strangers that vanish as quickly as they arrive. The deeper Lazar delves into finding the answers, the more questions that arise until finally the shocking truth is revealed.
Shadows is deliberately moderate on dialogue, rich in exotic and erotic symbolism. It is at the same time a ghost story, a love story and a historic saga. The lush and serene setting of Coastal Greece with its long winding roads, juxtaposed to intense visual images of death, darkness and relentless rain, and disturbing sounds like that of a baby screaming – all weave together a remarkable tapestry, an old-fashioned ghost story in every sense.
After miraculously surviving the car accident that takes place after an argument with his wife, the attempts of Dr. Dreamy the handsome Doctor Lazar to reconnect with her and with his young son are relatively futile. So Lazar remains focused on his work at the hospital; that is until the strange appearances begin – Menka, an odd yet beautiful teacher’s assistant who befriends him, an old woman that shows up to clean his apartment and speaks only an ancient Macedonian language, a boorish man awkwardly carrying around a screaming infant. One by one each appears to be hurt in some way, then dead, then alive again. And Lazar is determined to find out why. Because otherwise how annoying.
This film is wrought with Christian overtones that are seemingly part of the mystery, as is Lazar’s overbearing and renowned physician mother. After his post-accident brain scan shows nothing but normal activity, Lazar is convinced the strange occurrences have something to do with the accident itself, and that figuring it out is his only chance at freedom from the haunting souls around him. Meanwhile, he is falling in love with Menka who suggests the souls are telling him to “return what’s not yours”. She’s pretty, yet vague.
The film is quite long but our patience pays off in the end when at last, Lazar must choose between life and death, between what’s real and what’s in the Shadows.