EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|TWO DEATHS (director: Nicolas Roeg; screenwriter: Allan Scott/from the novel The Two Deaths of Señora Puccini by Stephen Dobyns; cinematographer: Witold Stok; editor: Tony Lawson; music: Hans Zimmer; cast: Michael Gambon (Daniel Pavenic), Sonia Braga (Ana Puscasu), Nickolas Grace (Marius Vernescu), Patrick Malahide (George Buscan), John Shrapnel (Cinca), Sevilla Delofski (Ilena), Andrew Tiernan (Captain Jorgu), Rade Serbedzija (Colonel George Lapadus), Ion Caramitru (Carl Dalakis), Karl Tessler (Roberto Constantin); Runtime: 103; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Carolyn Montagu/Luc Roeg; Castle Hill Productions; 1995-UK)|
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Nicolas Roeg ("Performance"/"Walkabout"/"Don't Look Now")
directs and Allan
Scott writes the screenplay for this heavy-handed erotic political
drama (which compares the totalitarian
in public and private behavior). It's based on the
novel The Two Deaths of
Señora Puccini by
Stephen Dobyns.The low-budget film has its setting changed
from Chile to
Romania. The talky
theatrical production, not cinematic, is filmed in London's Pinewood
In Bucharest, the wealthy, bon vivant, corrupt and well-connected surgeon, Daniel Pavenic (Michael Gambon), is a charmer who hosts his annual house party for friends. His blind cook Ilena (Sevilla Delofski) cooks a sumptuous feast and his beautiful mysterious housekeeper Ana Puscasu (Sonia Braga, Brazilian actress) silently serves the meal. Since a civil war is taking place in the streets, the night is not a safe place to travel and only three of the twelve guests invited attend. All the bourgeois guests have a secret and a lie to reveal, and during the course of the violence outside the host and guests fill their bellies and tell their own perverted tales of woe.
Daniel tells of his lust for schoolteacher Ana, and how he purposely crashed his car into her fiance Roberto's (Karl Tessler) motorcycle. This left Roberto paralyzed. Sicko Daniel made a deal with Ana that Roberto could reside in his house, if she would be his sex slave. The other guests, all spineless characters, are George Buscan (Patrick Malahide), Marius Vernescu (Nickolas Grace) and Carl Dalakis (Ion Caramitru), whose love-life tales are just as disgusting--with Marius admitting that he enjoys having a whore piss on him.
The dour dinner party
conversation fails to keep one's attention, as there's much
speechifying, pointing fingers at others, talk of each's touching debauched relationship and the sickening visit by Ceausescu's head torturer (John Shrapnel), one of the doctor's close school chums
he still is friendly with.
REVIEWED ON 11/16/2010 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ