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The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005)The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005)

The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005)

A quiet kafkaesque nightmare lashing out at an inhumane healthcare system

Comedy, Drama

best
THE VERY BEST

8.6

movie

Romania

Romanian

Dark, Funny

2005

Cristi Puiu

Adrian Titieni, Alexandru Potocean, Alina Berzunteanu

150 min

Synopsis

Mr. Lazarescu is a retired Romanian engineer, spending his time in the company of his cats and booze. When he starts feeling unusually ill, he first seeks painkillers from his neighbors. It soon becomes apparent that Lazarescu is indeed sick, and an ambulance arrives with a nurse who has a few ideas about what could be the problem. However, a major traffic accident and poor organization leaves little room in Romanian hospitals for the fading Lazarescu.

Our Take

8.6
Igor Fishman

Mr. Lazarescu is a widower living with his cats in a small Bucharest apartment. One night when he begins to feel sick and calls for help, he sets in motion a kafkaesque parade of nurses, doctors, and hospitals as he is ferried through a bureaucratic maze unable to get treatment for his rapidly deteriorating condition. Cristi Puiu’s searing indictment of a failed healthcare system mixes kitchen-sink realism with tinges of gallows humor for a remarkable one-of-a-kind experience.

Beneath its grim demeanor is a clear-eyed portrait of the heart-rending weariness of paramedics and hospital staff that speaks spectacularly to our current mid-pandemic moment of exhausted doctors and overflowing facilities. This focus on the toll of the system on paramedics, in particular, makes this a fantastic pairing with Martin Scorcese’s’ underrated Bringing Out the Dead.

Comments

H
HEBK

if you don’t have a good health care system in your country you won’t find this movie funny.

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