vt Back to the Neighborhood
Romania / 93 minutes / color / Page, Agressione, Ax Perpetuum Impex, Intermarom Dir: Gelu Radu Pr: Mody Levente, Cristian Omät, Horia Radu, Gelu Radu Scr: Horia Radu, Gelu Radu Cine: Cristian Omät Cast: Mody Levente, Horia Radu, Florin Matingo, Florin Runcan, Monica Hajdu, Mircea-Gabriel Ciolpan, Ioana Radu, Lucescu Matingo, Pamela Veliciu.
This is the sequel to Cartier (2001; vt Neighborhood), a movie that I haven’t seen but will add here if ever I do get the opportunity to see it; apparently the two movies are fairly similar, both being set in Romania’s second city of Cluf-Napoca and sharing fairly incessant profanity and obscenity, plus amazingly low production standards—to the extent that in this one all the scenes involving cash were reportedly shot first, so that the cash could be freed up to pay ongoing production costs.
The only person to escape alive from a drug-gang massacre five years ago was a psychopathic crook called Brazilianu/The Brazilian (Florin Matingo), who did so only at the expense of castration by one of his adversaries. Another of those adversaries, Moşu (Levente), arrived late, missed the carnage, and slipped away unnoticed by the cops. Since then Moşu has gone straight.
Having now returned to the neighborhood, Moşu is asked for help one day by the cop who used to hound him, Gota (Runcan). A while ago Gota’s daughter Diana was kidnapped; the cops are sure she’s being held somewhere in the neighborhood but otherwise are stymied; could Moşu help out? Seizing upon Brazilianu’s uneducated love for what he imagines are priceless antiquities, Moşu enlists the aid of crooked dealer Hensi (Horia Radu), who agrees to help immediately he hears Brazilianu possesses the valuable Athena medallion and, ignorant of its true worth, is ripe for the fleecing . . .
Amid some extraordinarily badly choreographed fights the plot lurches confusingly along, not helped by its being told non-chronologically. (In fact, the mentally reassembled chronology seems not to work, with several days’ or weeks’ worth of action having taken place in what we’re told was just the previous day.) Most of the flashbacks are highly stylized, with dominant music tracks and even some dancing and performance art; they seem like clumsy first drafts of music videos. Some of the acting’s fine but some is dire. Even so, there’s enough to sustain the interest, in a sickly fascinated sort of way, until the end.
Brazilianu/The Brazilian (Matingo) languishes in prison; it’s part of the ethos of this movie that prison rape is regarded as hilarious.
On Amazon.com: Inapoi in cartier