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Film One Star

When I booked myself in for this press screening I must have been drawn to the name of Asia Argento, because come the time to see the actual film I turned up at the Edinburgh Filmhouse with no idea what I was watching.

However not even the delights of Asia Argento having an urn of milk poured over her helped the film. Oh and it's not anything sexual, it's a very strange religious ceremony.

From the first few opening sequences I was thinking that the editing was slightly off. The opening travelogue gives us a few glimpses of the people of Transylvania in fast cuts which which frame the picture close-up to their faces in two quick steps.

Then the story takes ages to move anywhere, inching along between overly long musical pieces. I felt like the film was showing me the people and customs of Transylvania rather than trying to deliver any actual story.

When the story does take a step forward it seems to do so in some very odd and disconnected ways.

Ultimately it boils down to this. A woman, played by Asia Argento, is searching for her deported lover in Transylvania with the help of her friend and a hired guide.

She finds him, he wants nothing to do with her, and she's off. Two months pregnant and she shacks up with a traveling second hand dealer played by Birol Ünel. Then she has her baby and he has a slight moment of uncertainty.

That's it. The story could have been told in a much shorter time and still delivered the characters and views of Transylvania, but perhaps with a little more drama injected in the script.

During the credits I noticed that the Writer/Director, Tony Gatlif, had also been responsible for composing the music, perhaps that's why it these scenes were too long and too often. They interrupted the story far too much.

As it stands the film could do with much more editing and a rewrite. As it stands I was lost, uninterested, and occasionally tapping my foot along to the many musical moments.

UK IMDB Film Details



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