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Wandering minstrel Ashik Kerib falls in love with a rich merchant's daughter, but is spurned by her father and forced to roam the world for a thousand and one nights - but not before he's got the daughter to promise not to marry till his return. It's told in typical Paradjanov style overlaid with Armenian folksongs. Written by
Michael Brooke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Ay Karamba! What a letdown. Having read the other reviews on IMDb, I was expecting to see a delightful cross between Alice in Wonderland and Tarkovsky. Instead it's more like Fellini on a bad day with a really low budget.
When I say "Fellini on a bad day", I mean that there is no coherent theme to the almost random images we receive. Aside from the thin plot of a man travelling many miles for love, there doesn't seem to be much substance holding this film together. I'd group it in the genre of "road movies" that are best watched under the influence of psychomorphic drugs.
And when I say "a really low budget" I mean A REALLY LOW BUDGET. I've seen home movies that are more professionally made. Granted, the low budget led to some very innovative storytelling techniques perfect for fantasy (namely, the use of a red handkerchief to symbolize blood, or the use of extras in a paper mâché tiger suit to symbolize a gladiatorial fight--I really did enjoy those scenes), but the uneven camera-work, the poor film/sound quality, bad editing (jerky scene cuts) and the amateur (over-)acting really killed it. It reminded me of one of those notorious Ed Wood movies where suspension of disbelief is impossible due to the overwhelming flaws.
The story itself is forgettable. It begins very nicely, but around midway you realize that it's not going anywhere. And at the end of the movie your suspicions are confirmed. The ending is as unfulfilling as it gets--no drama, no deep message, rather predictable... almost "hollywood" but on a very low budget. I understand that this movie is the compilation of many traditional fables... but aren't fables supposed to have morals (meanings) to them? And last of all... what's with everyone's eyebrows? Whoa. Even the women are sporting the neanderthal look. It's very distracting, because after a while you can't tell who's who. Crazy, just crazy. lol.
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