out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
Starring: Julian Firth, Heather Tobias|
Director: Jasmin Dizdar
RunTime: 107 Minutes
Release Date: September 1999
|*Also starring: ||Dado Jehan, Edin Dzandzanovic, Faruk Pruti, Charlotte Coleman, Rosalind Ayres, Roger Sloman, Steve Sweeney, Siobhan Redmond||
Review by MrBrown
3½ stars out of 4
A couple of people walked out, never to return, about 20 minutes into
this British import, and I can understand their impatience. Jasmin
Dizdar's is packed with a number of characters and plotlines and takes
its sweet time setting them all up that the opening stages cannot help
but seem like a complete jumble. But to quote the trailer for
_Magnolia_--to which this somewhat similar film has been compared--"this
will all make sense in the end." _Beautiful_People_ is cut from the same
Altman-esque cloth as Paul Thomas Anderson's film, following different
lives as they criss-cross over a stretch of days in London.
One key difference is that these lives mostly, in some way, end up
touching upon a central issue: the unrest in Bosnia. Two men who knew
each other in the old country--one a Serb (Dado Jehan), the other a Croat
(Faruk Pruti)--meet by chance on a bus and then proceed to beat the
living daylights out of each other, landing themselves in the hospital.
There, Portia (Charlotte Coleman), a med student borne of a rich English
family, falls for a fresh Bosnian immigrant named Pero (Edin
Dzanzanovic), whom she treated during rounds. The mishap that brought
him there was related by association to the sad and angry Dr. Mouldy
(Nicholas Farrell), whose wife has just left him; among his patients is
one Bosnian refugee (Walentine Giorgiewa) bearing a war enemy's child.
Dr. Mouldy lives next door to a strict teacher (Roger Sloman), whose son
Griffin (Danny Nussbaum) hangs with a drug-addled crowd. Among Dr.
Mouldy's son's schoolmates is the daughter of a BBC news reporter
(Gilbert Martin) whose latest location assignment is in... Bosnia.
Despite the serious issue that serves as the film's connective tissue,
_Beautiful_People_ is not overwhelmingly grim. There are moments of
sadness and shocking brutality, but there are just as many more comic
moments, in particular Griffin's hilariously unpredictable yet strangely
moving thread. The film is also more about Bosnia: it's about the
immigrant experience in general; it's about tolerance; it's about making
a difference; it's about learning to make the best of what one has.
_Beautiful_People_ is indeed a beautiful film, one that is
thought-provoking and moving while always remaining entertaining.
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