15 April 2019 | dromasca
bad luck as a way of life
'Ghinionistul' ('The Unlucky' or 'The Bad Luck Guy'), the comedy directed by Iura Luncasu, which I saw at the Romanian Film Festival, organized in Israel these days, reminded me of the Romanian joke about the guy who after passing away is given the opportunity to chose in what kind of hell he would spend the rest of the eternity. Naturally, he chooses the Romanian hell: neither the temperature of the pitch boilers is so hot, nor the demons are really devilish, and anyway, if you give them a hundred lei you can 'solve the problem'. This is about the atmosphere laughed about of this rather different feel-good movie, with many good intentions and original ideas, although not all of them realized. Well, a Romanian comedy ... but it's refreshing to see one after so many 'serious' Romanian movies.
The hero of the movie is Robert (Vlad Logigan), a young musician from somewhere in center Romania, who is convinced that he is born under a bad sign. He tries to meet ends not from today till tomorrow but from morning till noon or from afternoon to evening, he has two teenage sisters and a drunk father (Gheorghe Visu) in care, while his chances of becoming an achieved musician in a not very commercial genre (classic guitar) seem equal to zero. Everybody takes advantage of his kindness, the owner of the house he rents and the one of the local pub, the nymphomaniac mother of his guitar pupil, his father, even the local thugs who try to involve him in a kidnapping. Robert belongs to the category of comedy characters from Charlot to Benigni who conquer the hearts of the spectators and of the beautiful girls in the movies through their innocence and kindness. If he could only break the circle of bad luck.
What did I like? Vlad Logigan is the right actor for the role and acts very well. He is so good that it might be worth considering to make of this film a 'pilot' for a series. The script is well written, the moments in which the story trains are rare. The combination of social critic, comedy of situations and absurd works most of the time well and there are plenty of twists and surprises that keep the attention of the spectators. What I liked less? Excepting Robert, most of the other characters are reduced to stereotypes that fail to raise atop the levels of TV comedy despite the actors' efforts. The end seems to be rushed, the idea is good, but I believe that it deserved to be developed in several scenes. An extra dose of daring, even some insanity, could have transformed this movie from just another comedy into a film to remember. Even so, 'Ghinionistul' offers the audience another facet of a diverse cinema school, with talented and independent creators.