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|Index||17 reviews in total|
Love Sick is a tale of pure unfettered romance that skates over
dangerous waters. The lightness and rapidity of its dialogue hides a
literary depth that is easy to miss. The two lead characters give
significantly assured and fine performances as the carefree youngsters
in a heady romance within a world of teenage absolutes.
Alex and Kiki meet at university in Bucharest. What first begins as a natural friendship, soon becomes an intense love affair. "I wonder if this building is earthquake proof," says one early in the script, clearly joking, and with the same childish belief in invulnerability that soon characterises their relationship.
One of the opening images is of the two of them running through the rain - a scene Kiki later dreams of the first night she stays over at Alex's place. The film quite deliberately runs in this ambiance of fairy-tale romance for a while - "I could smell the scent of sleep on her, and that's when I desired to see her always, every morning." It is an idealistic celebration of emotional warmth and closeness, of which sexuality (and the fact that they are both girls) plays only a small part. The dialogue rushes forth like a spring or waterfall that cannot be stopped, characteristic of many people of their age group. Such alacrity of communication, fired by physical attraction and excitement, and with a trust that has not been scrutinized too closely, perhaps accurately conveys the way many teenagers 'fall in love'. Whatever our prejudices, it does have a poetic beauty and easily overcomes any objection to the unmistakable lesbianism (which, however, would be shocking to the community where the story is set).
Having toyed with our emotional tolerance thus far, the film then presents a more dangerous challenge. Kiki and Alex discuss the purity of an important novella by François-René de Chateaubriand (which sadly many audiences will not be familiar with). The eponymous René of the novella in point is a romantic figure whose sister joins a convent to overcome her incestuous love for him. The story is discussed when Alex presses Kiki about the feelings of her brother Sandu, who has become increasingly disruptive to their relationship. It asks us how far we can use the purity of lyrical attachment to justify that which we feel is wrong. "I like their recklessness, the irresponsible way in which they justify their sexual impulses by finding a correspondent for them in the changes of nature," may sound like waffle, but accurately depicts the romantic self-deception in which the girls are perhaps engaging.
Both girls have been hiding their more serious side, Alex subduing her desire to study and Kiki skilfully disguising her emotional instability. The imagery makes an almost imperceptible shift, showing the disparity that is appearing between their heady ideals and the intrusion of darker elements. "You have a sleepy smell, like when you wake up in the morning and you've been dreaming too long." Love Sick has much more depth than is immediately apparent. Its flaws are that it is too deceptively flippant, and the speed at which it progresses leaves little time to digest the ideas that are so cleverly balanced. The ending comes so swiftly that we may very easily feel cheated at first, as if some greater resolution was in order. " . . . we had no idea what had happened, but that it was something rather beautiful." This is a film that deserves greater examination than it seems to ask us for, but such examination may be well worth the effort.
I was less then impressed after seeing this film, given that it was decently promoted (rare thing for romanian movies), and apparently received some international praise. There was not nearly enough insight in the character's history and I think it failed to portray some events, making it some what confusing during it's middle. The film is some 90 minutes long, so there would have been space (so to say) for a few extra scenes. I think it was well played, the most obvious exception being Chirila, the main celebrity in the production's promotion. He proved that he can't do drama, again. The only other movie i've seen him in, "Milionari de Weekend", was all cheap and parodic, so his performance didn't stand out, but here it contrasts with the other, professional, actors. The female couple is quite good.
I saw this film at the Chicago Reeling film festival. To pick up on the
previous reviewer's remarks, the claustrophobic feel and off colors of
the film is I sense quite intentional and conveys the sense of limited
space, drab architecture, overall drabness that constitutes the urban
environment of most people in Eastern and Central Europe. A bit shabby
housing project style is how I'd describe it, and this is how many
people live on the outskirts of larger cities. I can't say that I'm
familiar with Bucharest, Romania where the action unfolded, but I have
visited and lived in Eastern Europe for six months.
When I visited Russia as a student for a semester, my entire group had to drag their luggage seven stories up the staircase of a shabby student dorm building, just as the heroine does when moving in with a woman, because the elevators weren't working. But, I do concur with the reviewer, that the claustrophobia and muted colors, it's overdone, for there are, to be sure, beautiful historic buildings, parks, squares you can find in Bucharest or in any historic city center of Eastern Europe, and Bucharest's didn't get much of any footage in this film. For me watching this film conveys well the claustrophobia that I would feel during my half-year stay there, feeling trapped and limited. (It makes you see why someone would want to immigrate and find a better life, just as people if hope to escape from a United States urban ghetto.)
Also, given the climate of homophobia, say, circa, US in the 1980s, the two young women who fall in love with one another are forced to keep their love a very private matter; hence, the focus on their interaction in the apartment.
It's remarkable and commendable in my view that this queer themed film was even made in Romania, and I find the complaint of the previous reviewer about the poor film quality quite uninformed and patronizing. It's unlikely that the director and producer drummed up much government support and funding for their film, and they did the best they could with their likely limited resources. The actors were fairly good and believable; the dialog was overall well done, and I could identity with these women.
The film offers an added twist to that of forbidden love between two young women, Kiki, an energetic, fun-loving free spirit with a dark, troubling secret (her admiration and love for an abusive, incestuous brother, Sandu) falls in love with Alexandra, a bright, bookish, idealistic young woman who moves to Bucharest to begin her college studies. Opposites attract, and their personalities seem to complement one another, though there is some tension between the ambitious, studious, intellectual Alexandra and Kiki, who seems to be attending college to please her parents. Keeping their love hidden from their parents seems manageable, though we don't get any sense of the tension it requires, nor do we ever see or meet any other students--hard to believe--and the tension keeping their love secret would have entailed. The chief threat to their love is Kiki's brother and her difficulty in trying to severe her relation to him. But Kiki's love for Alexandra seems to give her the strength she needs to finally severe this bond, or does it? That's what the suspense of the film focuses on as the narrative develops, and I won't say how it concludes.
Ironically, Kiki's love "sickness" isn't love for another woman, but her illicit, incestuous love for her brother. Thus, loving a woman offers the potential cure to the sickness of loving a sibling.
Though this feel of this film is stifling and claustrophobic, overly confined to interactions between Kiki and Alexandra, it was still engaging and moving to watch, so I'll give it a 7.
It's a strange, yet somehow impressive story, about love. Personnaly, I
never run over such a twist-off story in real life. But, I can image
It's a story that promises to be "sick" from the title. But, after I watch it, I didn't get this feeling of "sickness" which I would surely have regarding society rules. It's something beautiful in this movie... something impressive...which I cannot contradict using any moral or society rules.
The movie focuses mostly on relation between Kiki and Alex. You can see how this relation starts, evolves and finally ends. You feel the moment when this love blossoms, the first whispers, touchings. You feel the connection. And no moment I though this is immoral. You even hope it will not break in the end....it cannot break...it's not right. You feel the pain of being hart broken in the end...
But,I need also to add a negative spin to this comment...I don't know if the story is not somehow *showed* to give the feeling that these relations are sick only in form, but not in content. You don't have the total story, but only fragments. When movie has started, the relation between Kiki and Sandu was already in place. So, no clue about the nature of the relation. You feel only a tension between them...a fight between the need for love and desire to break this relation. I think this line of Kiki to Sandu says all: "I want to stop...and if you love me, you will do as I ask you".
This movie will probably stir some questions about what is love and what is to be moral...and where's the limit between them. I don't know if the idea of this movie is "love conquers all...even social and moral standards" or "love is beautiful...no matter how or where". But in my opinion, this movie is already a success for the simple reason that it makes you think...
I think that the idea of the plot is perfect for exploring first of all
the emotional experiences of the people involved and second, as someone
else wrote in a comment, the implications of this kind of relationships
(incest and lesbianism) in the romanian society.
so... to begin with the second aspect... to make it short, it wasn't visible at all...
as for the first.. as i said, it had much more potential... i think that those kind of relationships carry much more tension... much more tension... and the potential tension didn't get through...
i think the soundtrack could've been more than those few songs on the background and the theme (wich was nice but not enough and not always in the right moments)... yeah... i could feel the absence of a better soundtrack..
the actors... i think that they were somewhere from 7 to 8/10... not enough sensuality in the key moments...
a total of 7/10.... mostly for the story
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
i expected something different:more passion,drama...Again another failed attempt of originality.i'm sorry to say that the film falls into the old cliché of 'cheesiness'.15 year old teens may appreciate it though.The acting was not very convincing and the lines common,lacking any wit.Still, the soundtrack was good and well adapted.I can't say that this movie is a total flop,because people do watch it but it didn't meet the public's expectations and sunk into mediocrity.So,to conclude,the production keeps you in front of the TV for almost an hour and a half,which is an appreciable thing.Thus,I guess its worth seeing if you don't get annoyed
...since there are only few decent Romanian movies that were launched
in the past few years. And the subject of matter is also difficult to
approach. Yet, this benefits from a better production than other
Romanian movies, and the photography doesn't leave the impression of
wandering he Garbage Empire. Yet, it is poorly acted and written,
especially written, there is no insight, no character development,
Tudor Chirila is very annoying trying to look charismatic when he
actually isn't. The whole material looks to high-school-ish to work, it
looks like it was written by a 15 year old girl who discovered
literature and some taboo subjects, so confronting such a script few
actors could handle the situation without making severe changes. In
spite of all said above, this movie is not disgraceful, it is not like
"Italiencele" or "Orient Express", it doesn't leave you wonder who had
the uninspired to fund such crappy productions. It is just a bad movie
that could have been far better.
* */* * * * *
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
***LIGHT SPOILER ALERT*** The story sounds good and if you've read the
novel, then you're probably expecting a deep and intense movie that
could offer some insight for some interesting and insufficiently
explored human relationships.
True enough, the script tries to do that, the director tries to do that, but the main cast fails miserably. Maria's acting is so dry that lacks any feeling whatsoever, her most intense moments seem almost comical. Sometimes she seems to be nervous due to the camera. Her only really feeling scene is near the end where she gets dumped by her girlfriend.
Ioana seems even more tense than Maria and even worse, she doesn't seem natural at all. Maria had the attitude, even if it was artificially pushed towards being obvious, but she had it and her character received some credibility. And to make matters worse, we don't have an insight on her: where does she come from, how come she got involved in the lesbian relationship, how did the relationship evolve? We only get some bits from her parents and their relationship just seems to 'be' there: it has a content and and end, but no beginning. Just like her partner Maria, she has only once scene that is truly touching, the scene where she dumps Maria's character Kiki.
Tudor is the only person in this movie (aside from the landlady, great acting there) who manages to prove some acting talent. He has his character's attitude and it fits him. Only once or twice he seems to falter (the scene at his parents' meal, he tries to be obvious when it wasn't necessary at all).
I love the story, Tudor Chirila is OK there, the landlady actually acts and Puya delivers his couple of lines with style, but this doesn't save the movie. Too bad, the entire setting had huge potential and the Romanian cinematography could've used a movie on this theme.
Oddly enough, the incestuous relationship between brother and sister seems to have more credibility than the no-background no-feeling (well, Maria's spoken interludes are a nice try in this direction) lesbian relationship of Maria and Ioana. I'm quite sorry for spending money on a ticket, I'd rather had watched it from the comfort of my room.
This is a movie that relies solely on the somewhat controversial image of incest and lesbianism to get noticed.That is it.The dialogs are pathetic and the sensuality of the "sex scenes" is absolutely absent.The acting and the dialog are more suited for high-school children,yet the subject is intended for adult audiences. It is a gutless and shallow movie.It could have been way better if it had a story and more drama. Ah and on top of that, one more thing: why are inner monologues so excessively used? Makes it seem so cheap.All in all an embarrassing movie for Romanian cinema as well as for mature audiences attempting to view it.I know the means are scarce but, that is not always an excuse for a movie flopping as this one does.And please start using some good actors in your movies and stop recycling them from musicians (Tudor Chirila) - they can't act!
Love is overwhelming... In all it's manifestations... Gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous... Tudor Chirila, Maria Popistasu and Ioana Barbu, one truly dramatic story about love in all it's shapes, a story about the undecipherable ways of young hearts, about life and lost innocence all directed by the skillful eye of Tudor Giurgiu. With a magnificent soundtrack featuring Faultline & Chris Martin and Vama Veche it surprises in every way leaving behind the sour taste of misunderstanding love... Truly remarkable... Is it me or is Romanian cinematography slowly but surely advancing and gaining respect? This is a brilliant film... Two thumbs up to everybody involved.
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