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Time of the Gypsies

Time of the Gypsies (1988)

Dom za vesanje (original title)
Director: Emir Kusturica
Writers: Emir Kusturica, Gordan Mihic
Cast: Davor Dujmovic, Bora Todorovic, Ljubica Adzovic
Genre: Comedy, Drama

"Perhan, an engaging young Romany (gypsy) with telekinetic powers, is seduced by the quick-cash world of petty crime, which threatens to destroy him and those he loves."

I have mixed feelings on this one. It took me about 20 minutes to warm up to it. The opening scenes were so chaotic and weird that I didn't know what kind of movie this was going to be.

It got better when we learn of the boy Pehran and his sickly little sister and supportive grandmother. I liked their family dynamics, and liked the actors. I also liked his attempts to marry Azra, I though his scenes with Azra and his sister were the most heartfelt. But wasn't he a bit young to be thinking about marriage?

On the hand I'm not a fan of movies that deliberately throw in cute/weird/symbolism stuff just for the sake of doing it and this film does it a lot:

White is a big symbolism in the film...there's: Azra's mom saying shes a prized catch as she's very white....white bread, white cheese & some other white food (which I forgot was said to be like wanting what you couldn't have) white turkeys are a dream of unattainability as is the white veil behind the taxi.

The movie is very visual and has many well composed scenes like the one above.

Maybe it was the film quality of the video but I had but some of the people seemed to move kind of jerky or in an abrupt manner. Like the hanging scene which was not funny, but seemed to be filmed in a way that the film makers thought was humorous. Same with the scene at the wake where his son breaks a window and steals the coins from his eyes. It seemed like the frame rate was sped up which made that scene look like a chase scene from TV show Benny Hill. The effect was it felt like the film was being weird for comic effect, but maybe it was just the video quality?

The story itself is anything but comic with the two siblings being separated from their family and each other. With the gang of pick pockets being controlled by the rich criminal in the white suit, it reminded me of Oliver Twist.

Not sure how to rate this one as the video quality might have been an issue.