9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
A magisterial exercise in self-reflexivity and colour...and it's funny too!, 11 Feb. 2010
Of the four films which confirmed Paradjanov's international reputation, Ashik Kerib is the most light-hearted, the funniest. The acting is almost perfect throughout, although never approaching verisimilitude: much of it is extremely theatrical in a style reminiscent of Pasolini movies; and the protagonist is deliberately slightly wooden, vaguely reminiscent of Godardian acting. This is all very self-reflexive (like all great art), and is made more so by the characters' mouths rarely opening during the dialogue (which is dubbed on afterwards). Paradjanov also seems not to care about properly synchronizing sound effects with what's happening on screen: whether this is deliberate self-reflexivity really doesn't matter. The costumes are as colourful as in the rest of his oeuvre, and the camerawork is a mixture of tableaux vivants (Sayat Nova style) and moving camerwork. The soundtrack is exceptionally interesting, and an integral part of the film's action (the eponymous hero is of course a minstrel).