One Shot (Hitac): Reykjavik Review

Croatian import saddles strong performers with a monotonous mood.

Two women cope with unwanted pregnancies in the middle of a murder investigation.

REYKJAVIK — Three projectiles hit unintended targets in Robert Orhel's One Shot, a drama in which a university student and a homicide detective, both dealing with unplanned pregnancies, meet when the former accidentally shoots a stranger. Tastefully made and well acted but suffering from both visual and dramatic monotony, the Croatian import has little commercial potential in English-language markets.

"I get drunk once and I'm pregnant," laments Petra (Iva Babic), a good student whose ambitions are threatened by the prospect of having a child. Rooting through her best friend's house in search of money for an abortion, she instead finds a gun; she accidentally fires it in the air while fooling around, but thinks little of it until hearing later on the news that a neighbor was killed by a mysterious shot.

Anita (Ecija Ojdanic), the detective investigating this case, has just learned she's carrying the child of her married lover. But the two women are connected in other ways as well -- by parents who require their assistance, by the sudden feeling of being alone in the world.

The women meet early on, in interviews where Petra denies ever having fired a gun. Unsatisfied, Anita politely keeps in touch over the coming days in hopes of getting to the truth. The characters' aligning concerns resonate throughout, despite the infrequency of their scenes together, and eventually lead to an affecting connection. But the script's dour mood is too often echoed in Stanko Herceg's sickly green photography, threatening to sink viewers' spirits even when the characters see reasons for hope.

Production Company: Zagreb

Cast: Ecija Ojdanic, Iva Babic, Barbara Nola, Enes Vejzovic, Milan Strljic, Milan Plestina, Alen Liveric

Director-Screenwriter: Robert Orhel

Producers: Ankica Juric Tilic, Hrvoje Pervan

Director of photography: Stanko Herceg

Music: Daniel Biffel

Costume designer: Ivana Zozoli

Editor: Ivana Fumic

No rating, 76 minutes