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The Death of Mr Lazarescu back to product details

Dying, in Romania
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written by talltale September 17, 2006 - 7:17 AM PDT
5 out of 5 members found this review helpful
THE DEATH OF MR LAZARESCU is, I suspect, one of the great humanist masterpieces of cinema: so much better and different from what I expected that I may be over-rating it. Time will tell. For now, I can't think of another film that brought me so close to people without a shred of sentimentality, undue nastiness or anything obvious or clichéd. Given its subject matter--an old man (well, 62, which may be old in Romania) whose family is gone or dispersed, becomes very ill and must be taken to hospital with no one acting as his advocate save one of the two emergency ambulance staff--I had to force myself to stick the DVD into the machine.

Once I began watching, however, I was hooked for the full 2-1/2 hours. And then I watched the very long interview with the director and the shorter one with an American doctor about our own health care system. The biggest surprise of the film was that, although I'd heard how the patient languishes in such inferior care (among people who don't care), this is not really the case. There is a certain MD you could easily knock across the room, and another pair you want to smack in the face. But there are many more medical professionals here doing their job as well as possible under very trying circumstances (a bus crash has provided the local hospitals with more emergencies than they can handle). I felt my first genuine affection for Romanians after watching this film, and I suspect this feeling will remain with me. Director/co-writer Cristi Puiu says he wanted to provide "testimony" with this film. He has, and of a very high order: moving, humorous, rich, compassionate and real.

Not a comedy, very sad
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written by sfpauly September 15, 2006 - 10:14 AM PDT
6 out of 8 members found this review helpful
I found this film to be very sad and disturbing. If you've ever lost a loved one that was in and out of hospitals this "comedy" will ring true and could have easily been set in the U.S. The abusive doctors were quite realistic and accentuated the need for a caretaker present at all times during health care.

Don't rent for a laugh but a reality check.

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(Average 6.84)
57 Votes
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