- Directors: Cristi Puiu
- Format: Anamorphic, PAL
- Language: Romanian
- Subtitles: English
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Classification: 15
- Studio: Palisades Tartan
- DVD Release Date: 23 Oct. 2006
- Run Time: 150 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B000H1QR36
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 74,484 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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The Death Of Mr Lazarescu  [DVD]
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Off-beat Romanian satire. Mr Lazarescu (Ion Fiscuteanu) is a 63-year-old man who lives in a ramshackle apartment with his three cats. Complaining of head and stomach pains, his neighbours eventually call him an ambulance. What follows is a tour through Romania's crumbling infrastructure, as Mr Lazarescu is shifted from pillar to post, meeting an assortment of eccentric characters on the way, as he experiences pointless beaurocracy and casual inefficiency from the inside.
The Death of Mr. Lazarescu is a sadly funny film that tells the story of an old man whom no one really knows or cares about. When he falls ill and needs medical treatment, he faces a team of busy doctors who are concerned because they have to be, not because they really care. Running just over 2-1/2 hours, this Romanian film allows the viewer to visualize how suffocatingly slow time must seem for Lazarescu (Ion Fiscuteanu), who isn't expecting the best treatment--just any treatment would be nice. With the exception of a conscientious paramedic, there doesn't seem to be much concern whether he lives or dies. TV viewers have been weaned on medical dramas such as ER, Chicago Hope, and House--all of which depict physicians who will go to all lengths to cure their patients. While noble and entertaining, these series probably offer less realism than The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, in which lack of funds and staff don't allow time for suitable bedside manner. No one is vilified, not even some of the hospital staff that is disgusted by the side effects of their patients' illnesses. The story is well told in a humane and mesmerizing manner that yanks at the heartstrings while still eliciting a laugh or two. --Jae-Ha Kim
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Top Customer Reviews
The concerning thing is, although set in Bucharest, the same disturbing scenario could be played out anywhere in Europe as the plight of elderly patients is ignored and treated with apathy.
I actually begin to forget I was watching a film. Such is the realism of the acting and the camera angles that I became absorbed in what felt like a true life documentary. I felt anger and frustration as I watched a helpless patient being shunted from hospital to hospital across the city, receiving indifferent and varying diagnoses, constantly being treated with absolute disregard, yet trying to maintain his dignity and hold his temper throughout.
At times its not easy viewing, and it is so easy to become irritated with the attitude of the various characters, but that is down to the talent of the actors and the realism of this film. I would highly recommend it, but don't look for too many laughs.
The ultimate optimism of the film lies in the great humanity embodied by the female paramedic - earthy, weary, but wholly decent - and one of the doctors - an ethereal, angelic, saintly presence in the midst of so much medico-heartlessness, arrogance and recklessness. A unique and essential work of art.
With a small cast, much of the plot set in an ambulance driving around the run-down streets of Bucharest, and a storyline that gets darker as the film goes on, you might be forgiven for thinking that this film is bordering on farce, and has little to offer. I can assure you that the opposite is true. You will be drawn into the last hours of Mr Lazarescu, and the group of people that try to help, or hinder him through them. Notes of realism, and totally believable acting, give the whole thing a documentary feel, and you become aware that you are a witness to a great story of callous lack of concern and hopelessness, in a system that has collapsed from within.
Unfortunately, there was a multi-car crash involving a bus on the freeway and many accident victims are taken to the emergency rooms (ERs) of nearby hospitals. The ER was packed and very busy. Mr. Lazaescu gets a quick exam but what he really ends up with is a lecture to stop drinking and he would get better. The ambulance personnel realize he is in pain and needs help ... so they take him to the next hospital. At the next facility, the personnell, both MDs, nurses, and technicians are rather indifferent and treat the female ambulance worker rather shabbily. Eventually, they do a somewhat better exam and agree on a diagnosis. They recommend a CT scan which can not be done in their facility because they do not have the equipment. They are given the necessary paperwork and move on to a third hospital. At this better equipped hospital, Mr. Lazarescu gets his tests not becasue he *should* nor because it is the right thing to do but *only* because the female ambulance worker has some "pull". She knows one of the healthcare workers who arranges for the test to be done immediatly.
A CT scan of the head is done showing he has a serious problem ... the matter is urgent. The physician tries to talk Mr. Lazarescu into having surgery.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This film manages to be both deeply moving, as Mr Lazarescus' condition deteriorates and comical too. Much like life really. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Mrs. B. Johnson
This film is marketed as a black comedy but I found it anything but funny. A grim but powerful account of arrogance and the lack of respect for the elderly or those... Read morePublished 12 months ago by RoyJP
excellent film, funny and witty but also tragic. Excellent acting, very unusual, truly a comic masterpiecePublished on 18 Mar. 2015 by Ms. Z. Karimova
This is falsely advertised as a dark comedy. It is NOT. It is a drama.
It plods along and along with no story or particular plot whatsoever then finished randomly in the... Read more
This is meant to be funny - all I can say that I don't share the writer's/film maker's sense of humour. Read morePublished on 8 Jan. 2014 by Book fiend
'The Death of Mr Lazarescu' is relatively difficult to classify in terms of genre. The plot is simple: a dying man, Mr Lazarescu, is in pain and is trying to get medical attention... Read morePublished on 16 Dec. 2012 by Xenophon