Train Driver’s Diary (2016)


Train Driver’s Diary Storyline

The victims are those who wanted to commit suicide, the careless ones, drunken ones, or just absentminded ones. The fact is that a train can’t stop for at least 700 meters – automatically relieves the train drivers of any responsibility. Being thus innocent of numerous deaths – makes these mass murderers a group of people with a special mental and psychological profile. This is a story about the innocent murderers and their lives. Ilija is a 60-year-old train driver, close to retiring. He holds the infamous record of 28 kills committed during his career. Ilija’s 19 years old adopted son Sima is preparing to take over the family trade and his father’s job. During the long drives Ilija tells his son that accidents will happen. Sima is afraid, unwilling to become a killer. He is most interested in time that usually elapses from the first run to the first kill. Old drivers say – encouraging him – that it will happen very quickly, within the first week. Sima starts with his daily drives. He is anxious, sweating, not sleeping at night. Days pass… First week, second week, third week… he just did not run anyone over. His tension is now unbearable.Trying to help him, his father finds suicidal people, negotiates with them, offering them to swap jumping off a bridge or skyscraper with falling under the wheels of a train. “Try to understand”, Ilija tells them – “It’s about a young man’s life!” But suicidal men usually decides to live. Having no choice, Ilija decides to lie down on the tracks to helps his only son. Fortunatelly, suicidal man jumps infront of Sima’s train… Ilija smiles with satisfaction. His son has become a real train driver!

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Train Driver’s Diary Movie Reviews

A rare find, sublimely wonderful.

This movie is like finding a wonderful restaurant in the middle of nowhere when you were not even looking for one. Savour and enjoy.

Good job of incorporating a heavy subject in a comedy. Interesting how train drivers react on the suicides they have to cope with. No sick jokes, no blood, no loose body parts

It is a comedy indeed, contrary to my questions beforehand why this movie was labeled such. But the heavy subject is handled very well. It is not so that the train drivers make jokes about their “victims”, rather the opposite, as they even remember them all in detail. They consider it a fact of life that it happens every now and then, knowing they can do nothing about it.

The comedy elements revolved around a stepfather going to every length to prevent his adopted son to follow in his footsteps by becoming a train driver too. His resistance delayed the inevitable but worked out very badly on both. Eventually, after several unexpected and surprising turns of events, the son becomes a real train driver, but has to wait many months before his first “hit”. That period in limbo worked out badly on everyone as well. In a well-meant attempt to rescue the situation the stepfather even volunteers someone who was about to end his life by jump from a bridge, and persuaded him to change his suicide plan by lying down on the rails at 14:32 where his stepson was scheduled to come with his train.

The above example illustrates best, in my opinion, how this heavy subject can be changed into a comedy. The remainder of the developments and turns of events are not important for understanding why this movie is worth seeing. Don’t worry, there is no blood to speak of. No loose body parts are shown on screen, and there are no sick jokes about suicides.

Train Driver’s Diary

Train Driver’s Diary (Dnevnik mašinovođe) was produced by Serbian film star Lazar Ristovski and directed by Milos Radovic. Ristovski plays the main part of Ilija in the film. It is a very funny black comedy which is also full of profound thoughts.

The picture is about people who are accidental killers; according to statistics, the average train driver kills approximately 20 people during his lifetime. The subject of the comedy is very original and also the approach to this topic is compelling.

Ristovski created a memorable character of a middle-aged train driver who spends most of his life in a cabin with his small dog. His girlfriend also died on the railroad. One day on the tracks he sees a 10 year old boy, Sima, who wants to commit suicide because he is not loved by anyone. He becomes the adopted son of Ilija.

The acting of Petar Korac as grown up Sima is also worth mentioning, he is not a professional actor and later decided to choose another career, but he was able to create a convincing and charismatic character on the screen.

Director Milos Radovic said that he was inspired by Aki Kaurismäki when making the film. Radovic was able to create his own unique style and was not afraid to make fun of anything – love, death or destiny. It is also a film about growing up, maturing and making important decisions.Train Driver’s Diary has a certain quality of fatalism and yet despite all the horrible experiences of the heroes the film is optimistic and full of humanism.

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