A young Jewish American man endeavors to find the woman who saved his grandfather during World War II in a Ukrainian village, that was ultimately razed by the Nazis, with the help of an eccentric local.
An uptight New York tax lawyer gets his life turned upside down, all in a single day, when he's asked to escort a feisty and free-spirited female ex-convict whom asks him to help prove her innocence of her crime.
In London, A.K. is a Ukrainian Gypsy, seeking fame as a rocker, doing odd jobs: he's a dom, drives a hack, and runs errands for his neighbor, a poet full of self pity since going blind. A.K's flatmates are Holly, a ballerina who becomes a reluctant stripper in need of coaching, and Juliette, a pill-popping assistant at a pharmacy run by an Indian tired of his marriage. Juliette, estranged from her family, dreams of helping the poor children of Africa; A.K. has a crush on Holly; Juliette's boss lusts after her. Her hapless sister calls from time to time. The poet despairs. Is there a route from filth to wisdom for these souls? Can they find fun and fulfillment? A.K. provides philosophical comment. Written by
OK, so let me just say that I came into this as a huge fan of Eugene Hutz and Gogol Bordello and while I don't enjoy her music, I like Madonna's persona and was very excited to see the film.
On the upside, this movie did have some interesting ideas on, well... filth and wisdom, sex work and art. Unfortunately, the story-telling vehicle meant to get us to these ideas was so appalling that Mr. Hutz had to narrate them to us fairly explicitly. For ideas to work in a film WITHOUT an engrossing storyline, those ideas better be pretty profound (which these aren't) otherwise it just looks like the amateurish work of an angsty teen (which this did).
To make it all the more disappointing, the character set ups were GOOD. I wanted to like and know about each of the three protagonists and their relationships to each other. Unfortunately, everything goes downhill after we meet them. Their back stories are only hinted at, their motives and personalities one-dimensional and their stated relationships lacked the slightest chemistry. The secondary characters were worse.
So, what happened and who do we hold accountable for ruining this film? Someone was handed a great cast to play exciting characters, a nice little premise and some passable thematic ideas and yet it bombed. The real achievement of this film is that it managed to be as unwatchable as it was. The only real reason to sit through this pile is for the the sheer erotic thrill of seeing Eugene Hutz as a male dominatrix, and if that doesn't get you rocks off, then I'd just skip it all together.
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