Browse all reviews by letter     A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0 - 9

Yugoslavia 1988
Directed by
Emir Kusturica
129 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2 stars

Black Cat, White Cat

Like Tony Gatlif, Emir Kusturica is a director who re-works his motifs with each film. Black Cat White Cat is essentially a re-boot of his breakout 1988 film.Time Of The Gypsies. In between then and now he directed Underground (1995) which worked because he allegorically blended the exuberant style of the earlier film with Balkan political history. Even if this was of limited significnace to an uninformed viewer it gave the film strong narrative structure and substance.

Black Cat, White Cat on the other hand simply recycles the motifs of dirt poor, inbred gypsy life in his native Yugoslavia, where gambling, drinking and swindling are celebrated in a mad whorl of scraping fiddles and oompah oopmpah tuba music.

The story, which involves a none-too bright chiseller who tries to marry off his adolescent son in an arranged marriage with the height-challenged sister of a crime boss to whom he has found himself in debt, is merely the pretext for a roster of gold-toothed grotesques to engage in a series of comedic mis-adventures.

Now, if you haven’t seen Time Of The Gypsies this many well be delightfully engaging but if you have, frankly it’s tedious. Black Cat, White Cat doesn’t have the inventiveness, absurdist humour, excessiveness and heartfelt affection for its characters of the earlier film and what was winning brio there becomes tiresome hecticness here.




Want something different?

random vintage best worst