Thursday, July 16, 2015

Charlie Countryman goes to Bucharest

Film critics are not as mean as we think. Film critics watch a shit load of mediocre films. And, film critics get tired of watching those mediocre new releases day after day. They do feel the desperate need to get it out of their system. And, that's why they are being mean -I do understand, and I sympathise.

"This is a movie with a chalk-outline around it", Peter Bradshaw wrote on The Guardian. And it gets worse: "this catastrophe of a movie zigzags drunkenly between action-adventure and surreal comedy with some magical realism slopped over it like ketchup", states with no mercy Stephen Holden on New York Times. Yet, this far from the worse film either of us has seen, and we all know it deep down. It is a film with Shia LaBeouf though, and reviewers do not like him quite as much as teenage girls do. Well, I do not like him either, but the film was ok, leaving its cliches behind. No matter the bitter reviews, The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman (2013), as the film is also known, got a Golden Bear nomination at the Berlinale and is the first feature by talented director Frendrik Bond who was into music videos and ads before.

Interesting visually, how could it not be, as it was set in Bucharest, such a vibrant and not as mundanely central European -not like the cities we're used to roam around, so to say. So, the backdrop is inspiring, the lovely quasi-Romanian and destructive female lead is inspiring, too, even if she is plain American and in fact under her skin hides a short-haired Evan Rachel Wood. Mads Mikkelsen is not doing much with his role, but we still like him. Music is good (featuring Moby in the soundtrack), whereas rhythm sometimes not particularly so.

Why did I feel I had to comment on this indie film that didn't change the world? Only because it had some precious moments in it, and films with those precious moments are worth watching. While Charlie was flying to Bucharest, he got acquainted to the guy sleeping besides him in a rather gregarious fashion. They ended up sharing secrets (sic). Charlie also ended up being the last person who has seen him alive. That scene had practically everything: starting off as humorous, light and warm, it ended up as an unexpectedly shocking bit where the ending is tied to a beginning. Inasmuch as we usually hate endings, new beginnings would not be possible without them.

No comments: