- (7.6 / 10)
- 150 minutes
- Cristi Puiu
- Adrian Titieni, Alexandru Fifea, Alexandru Potocean, Alina Berzunțeanu, Anca Puiu, Andrei Șerban, Bogdan Dumitrache, Călin Puia, Cerasela Iosifescu, Clara Vodă, Cristian Turungiu, Dan Chiriac, Dana Dogaru, Dorian Boguţă, Doru Ana, Dragoș Bucur, Emil Puiu, Florin Zamfirescu, Florina Alina Gleznea, Gabriel Spahiu, Ioan Fiscuteanu, Ionel Zaharia, Irina Kozsar, Iulia Lazăr, Iuliana Puiu, Jean Lorin Sterian, Laura Creț, Lorena-Andrada Zăbrăuțanu, Luminița Gheorghiu, Maria Serb, Mariana Stoica, Mihai Brătilă, Mimi Brănescu, Mirela Cioabă, Monica Bârlădeanu, Robert Bumbes, Rodica Ionescu, Rodica Lazăr, Șerban Pavlu, Simona Popescu, Smaranda Puiu, Tudor Hristescu
Directed by Cristi Puiu and based on a real case, The Death of Mr. Lazarescu tells the story of a pensioner (Lăzărescu Dante Remus, played by Ioan Fiscuteanu) who has the misfortune to get sick on the evening of a big car accident. This leads to him being taken from hospital to hospital without receiving medical care in time. It’s a dark comedy that earned many prizes at movie festivals, including the “Un certain Regard” award at the Cannes Film Festival (2006).
The idea of this film also origins in Cristi Puiu’s experience in the hospitals of Bucharest, where he was treated for appendicitis.
It is a sad, hard-to-swallow story about being old, helplessness, loneliness, abandonment and the failure of a medical system. The movie starts in Mr. Lazarescu’s home, where he lives alone with his cats. He is filling sick, so he calls for an ambulance. It’s the beginning of the end for Mr. Lazarescu. Almost everybody around him ignores his pain, accuses him of being a drunk, and even humiliates him. There is no such idea of willingness to help a fellow man struggling between life and death: commodity reigns.
On his journey from hospital to hospital, Mr. Lazarescu is accompanied by an ambulance nurse, Mioara Avram. She is the only person to show some empathy toward him.
The entire cast offers solid performances, specially Fiscuteanu as the remarkable Lazarescu Dante Remus and Luminita Gheorghiu as the paramedic. Unfortunately, as if the film’s story was not dramatic enough, both actors (Fiscuteanu and Luminita Gheorghiu) died when writing this article.
Watching the movie, you get the impression that you are watching a documentary or a reality show. Some scenes may seem too long, and the action may seem to drag, but if you have patience, you will see that everything has a purpose.