Click For The Z Review Homepage!
Movie News!
Movies Coming Soon!
Movie Reviews!
Movie Trailers!
All The hot Movie DVD 's!
Movie Features!
Movie Community!
Movie Resource!
 
Site Contents Copyrightę 2001 The Z Review, unless used with permission.

Hot News!
We have moved to our Brand new home on our own server at www.thezreview.co.uk

Please click over there for ALL our DAILY updates!


Movie Reviews

The Crazy Stranger  

The Crazy Stranger is a recent film which deals fairly well with the clashing of two very different cultures. In this case, the cultures are the French, represented by a wandering young French man, and the gypsy culture of Romania, represented by, well..... by the gypsy culture of Romania. As the film begins, the French guy is seemingly lost, in the middle of the cold, barren landscape, attempting to remind himself of why he is here in the first place. He is actually searching for the origins of a bootleg tape given to him by his late father; a tape containing the singing of a gypsy. He doesn't exactly find the singer, but he finds the culture from which it spawned, and the rest of the movie is his experiences in one particular gypsy village.

He finds himself in that particular village one night, hoping to find a place to stay, but instead finding himself in the company of an drunken old man, lamenting the fact that his son was just sent off to jail. Of course, these two people are in either side of a real language barrier, yet they manage, during the mangling of each other's languages, to get themselves completely intoxicated (even after the French guy's repeated protests that he does not drink), and the French guy finds a place to stay, in the old guy's spare room.

The next day, he finds himself in the midst of this strange culture, while seemingly unable to find the origins of the tape he is carrying. At first, many of the residents are suspicious of this man (and the old guy, after sobering up, takes a bit of convincing before he can even remember who this guy is!), but soon he becomes like another member of the family, with the old guy taking him everywhere he goes, and insisting that he does not leave. The French guy also takes a shine to one of the young gypsy girls, Sabina, a vulgar and temperamental free spirit who becomes a friend - and more, of course - to him.

This is the type of movie where not much really happens in terms of mind-blowing plot developments; rather, everything feels very much like a documentary depicting the day to day lives of the gypsy village. The fact that it's been about three weeks since I've actually seen the film may also colour this review, as all of the important plot points, events, imagery, etc, has been put into a haze of sorts. The movie is not a classic, but it is certainly a decent enough foreign film to watch, and luckily, a few important things can still be said about it.

The setting of the movie is quite interesting; it almost seems as if we are in some sort of time warp for a while. As far as I could tell, they don't have electricity, or any of the other modern conveniences of life. Some of them seem to still live in tents. And the village itself is apparently in a particularly barren portion of Romania. A shock, then, when cars are used, because you would not think right away that any of them would be able to even drive a car; but, obviously, at least one of them - the old guy - drives them. It's just as jolting when these characters actually get out of the village to go to a wedding reception; suddenly we realize that even these people do live in the modern world with the rest of us, even if they don't follow all the customs.

The old issue of racism against the gypsies is here as well, which results in distrust among the gypsies toward other peoples. The French guy is a target up to a point, and the villagers accuse the old man of bringing a curse upon theier village. In general, the village is persecuted by the establishment and the authorities, and so, even though the old man's son is eventually revealed as less than a victim, the village resents their typical treatment of gypsies. Within the village, the villagers aren't excatly the most progressive folk in the planet, especially when it comes to the treatment of women. Sabina actually gets the most verbal abuse, for some odd reason. Of course, it may be because she is a free spirit, so everybody has to put her down somehow. Even the local children call her a slut and a whore, for what reason, I'm at a loss to know; and the old guy, while drunk, even tries to take advantage of her, and, not surprisingly, fails in the attempt.

Sabina herself is interesting, maybe because for some odd reason she reminds me of my eccentric but beautiful friend. Sure, she's not a gypsy, and doesn't sing like Sabina does in this picture, but in many ways she is probably just as crazy and cool as this gal from half a world away. I could picture her saying some of the more cruder things that Sabina does, and certainly she seems to fit the free spirit bill. Possibly best of all is the fact that she looks kind of like Sabina as well. And if that also biases my review, than you are probably correct.

David Macdonald

David Macdonald's Movie Reviews

Shopping
DVD, Video, Soundtracks, Books...in fact ALL your movie shopping needs!
Movie Posters!
  Oceans Eleven
Oceans Eleven
Buy This Poster!
Games
Play our FREE games right here at The Z Review!
Release Dates
United Kingdom
United States
Trailers
MASSIVE Movie Trailer database!