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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Drama > Foreign > Romania > The Death Of Mr. Lazarescu (Tartan/DTS)

The Death Of Mr. Lazarescu (Tartan/DTS)


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: C-     Film: D



Everybody thinks and knows something is wrong with the healthcare system in the U.S., but it turns out complains abound in other countries.  Cristi Puiu’s The Death Of Mr. Lazarescu is set in Romania, a former Soviet republic.  However, the feature focuses on the oldest cliché in comedy cinema, the dirty unkempt bum.  How this ever became a standard is beyond me, but give or take Boudo Saved From Drowning, is annoying.  For the many critics who loved it, I can’t imagine why, unless it is supposed to be a reality TV show for artsy snobs as feature.


The story follows what happens to the title character when after years of being sick, he turns himself over to healthcare and the nightmare begins, though it really just continues for the view who would be better off watching Scorsese’s Waking Up The Dead.  Though the acting is not bad, the 153 minutes go on and on and on and on, dragging and when you add the shaky camerawork trying to have that documentary feeling (or something more pretentious), forget it.  If that is supposed to make us feel as ill as the title character, bad move.  Like we needed this to tell us about how bad healthcare can be and is.  Bring your highest ability for patience, because this is one of the most overrated things this critic has suffered through in a while.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 is shockingly bad, with poor Video Black and major detail issues.  Add the bad camerawork and the obnoxious, boring and dragged-out becomes much more so.  The sound is here in Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1, with the DTS having a slight edge, but the sound being so dull and flat that to say the multi-channel is not used well would be an understatement.  Extras include New York Times text article, director interviews and an examination of the U.S. healthcare system.  All this did was make me wish Michael Moore would finish Sicko, his indictment of HMOs.  That should add some age to this.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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