In 1999, during the Kosovo War,a train carrying NATO equipment, escorted by American Marines with Captain Doug Jones in command, is held back in Capalnita, a Romanian godforsaken village, by Doiaru, the station master, who blocks the train over a paperwork technicality. For five days the villagers try to take advantage of the Americans' unexpected presence. The mayor, for instance, organizes a celebration in their honor. On the other hand, sergeant David McLaren, Jones's second in command, falls in love with Monica, the crafty's station master's daughter, who dreams of a better world... And what about the Marines' initial mission?Written by
Cristian Nemescu's Cannes award wining movie, California Dreaming manages to exceptionally underline the issue of globalization, bureaucracy, the international image of the United States and it's actions, opportunism; also some of the bitter realities of Romanian administration, politics, mentality and the servility regarding foreigners that is found in this country way of thinking; everything is spinning around an old local obsession from 1944 when all of Romania was waiting for the US Forces to arrive and liberate it from the occupants; the viewer is surprised several times by different cues(lines) that are more or less subtle and what is impressive is that with only one phrase some of the characters manage to create powerful images and scenes. The arrival of the Americans in the Capalnita Village it is seen by locals as a unique chance to live a better life and in their attempt to distinguish themselves, the villagers become capable to give rise to amazing actions never seen before in the community even though in the end all becomes so very ridiculous and ironically for both of the sides(the US Marines and the Romanians)but for different reasons: the Americans because of their unstoppable urge to leave and being stuck in the middle of nowhere and the villagers for their desire to lure and impress the new arrived guests. Another thing to remind is the brilliant black and white scenes mixed in the movie, which present a story from The Second World War, aspects which are essential for the viewer to understand the mentality of one of the most important character named Doianu, the one who actually starts the main plot. The overall impression is that of a movie with a great script, very well played, fascinating situations, but above all so very exceptional directed.
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