I did not get all of the jokes in H.M. Deserters as many of them are culture centered but it is nothing that really gets in the way of enjoying what is basically an absurd army comedy. There are many universal things in comedy and one of them is the cunning sad sack soldier trying to get out of anything he can get out of, including the army. This is the main source of humor in this foreign comedy DVD. H.M. Deserters is a broad at times bawdy comedy. This two-parter seems to have been made for TV.
Also available at Polart Website
This foreign comedy is a bit long at 155 minutes. H.M. Deserters is worth sticking to as there are plenty of gags and funny scenes. There is just about every kind of humor here from slapstick to ribald including of course, bringing those who think they are superior down a peg or two.
Set during WW I and in the Austro-Hungarian army, this army farce is the story of Corporal Kania and his pals trying to scheme their way out of duties and the army and into the local brothel. The movie is set in a POW camp far removed from the front. The camp commander just wants to be left alone and things to go their merry way while Uber Lieutenant Von Nogai, a self-important despot, wants to whip the platoon into shape.
The second half of this Polish comedy begins when Kania and his pals manage to go AWOL. They take various trains in a cross-countries journey and have another series of comic adventures. This second half too is a bit long but it’s okay.
This is an episodic foreign comedy DVD with some moments better and funnier than others. There seems to be little rhyme or reason to the story itself but, again, I am sure I missed a few things. Perhaps having the parrot’s words subtitled would have helped.
The print quality for H.M. Deserters is quite decent with the occasional artifact in the top right hand corner of the screen probably signaling a commercial break coming up. Subtitles seem to be good but they are not perfect.