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PHOTOGRAPHY

THE DEATH OF MR. LAZARESCU

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 153 minutes, two featurettes, trailer

VIDEO: 1.85:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

AUDIO: Romanian 5.1 Dolby Digital, 5.1 DTS

Subtitles; English

STUDIO: Tartan Video

RELEASE DATE:  9-12-2006

Some films need editing no matter how critically acclaimed they are. THE DEATH OF MR. LAZARESCU (a movie in need of a better title) is a film that could have been shorter. Lazarescu doesn't make it to the hospital until about an hour into the film of this overly long 2 1/2 hour film. The first hour of the film is way too long (as he waits for the ambulance- he thinks he has problems because of his ulcer that was operated on years ago) and I didn't watch the film in one sitting. I wanted to give up on it. I think it should have been tightened down to under 2 hours. Lazarescu needs medical care and he gets bounced from hospital to hospital with many of the doctors being arrogant and the paramedic being his only ally. Like with the Romanian health care system, the United States health care system has it's flaws. My Dad had to deal with various doctors. One didn't quite listen to what my Dad was saying and another doctor refused to see him anymore when he missed an appointment once. So arrogance does exist in the system anywhere as doctors sometimes think they know so much and make snap judgments that may be wrong. I recently read a newspaper article where doctors in the USA might not be giving proper treatment because of religious or moral objections. As much as it is important to show the flaws of a system, I think THE DETAH OF MR. LAZARESCU is overrated. It's not a bad film, but it needs a little editing.

EXTRAS: Dr. Fred Berlin talks about the U.S. Healthcare system in the way it works and it fails. He does look a little shiney in the interview (due to the way they lighted him). A 45 minute interview with the director of the film (yes, the director speaks English) is also included in addition to the original theatrical trailer. However, the booklet in the DVD case does not include the New York Times article or the Cinemascope interview

FINAL ANALYSIS: THE DEATH OF MR. LAZARESCU shows the flaws in the health care system. It might be an important film, but I think it is overrated and could have used a good editing job to tighten the film into a leaner package.

this review is (c)2-10-2007 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com