You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Strange Times

Strange is the word for this cautionary tale directed at anyone forced to care for an invalid. Tale of a young woman driven mad while looking after her dying father is overlong, morbid and contrived. Lejla (Ayan Mirkasimova) is a violinist with a good job, a loving fiance and a happy lifestyle, until her elderly father (Aladdin Abbasov), whose hobby is breeding pigeons, falls off a roof while trying to reach one of his birds. He suffers brain damage and is confined to a wheelchair. He's such a bad-tempered character that nurses soon refuse to stay with him and Lejla is forced to quit her job to care for him. Her fiance leaves for another town, effectively abandoning her to her fate.

With:
With: Ayan Mirkasimova, Aladdin Abbasov.

For reasons never explained, Lejla allows the old man to keep his pigeons in the room where he spends all his time. The birds create a terrible mess and, one would think, a serious health risk. But the doctor who visits from time to time doesn’t appear to be concerned.

After many months of this, Lejla is driven to the point of madness, and audiences are likely to feel much the same way. Pic has no dramatic highs or lows, until an ending seemingly inspired by “The Birds,” though it must be said that even 34 years ago Hitchcock handled aggressive birds with more conviction. For no valid dramatic reason, the film is bookended with color sequences while the bulk of the story, a long flashback, is in black-and-white.

The actors, faced with almost impossible roles, do their best. Production values are adequate. Pic will do little to advance the cause of Azerbaijani cinema internationally.

Strange Times

Azerbaijani

Production: An Azerkinovideo Co. production. Produced by Ogtay Mirkasimov. Directed bu Hussein Mekhtiev. Screenplay, Hussein Mekhtiev, Ramiz Rovshan.

Crew: Camera (color/B&W), Amin Novruzov, Nadir Mekhtiev; editor, Guishan Salimova; music, Azer Dadashev; production design, Mais Agabekov; sound, Natasha Nurieva. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Forum), Feb. 22, 1997. Running time: 87 MIN.

With: With: Ayan Mirkasimova, Aladdin Abbasov.

More Film

  • Madrid’s ECAM Pacts With Torino, Rotterdam

    ECAM Pacts with Torino, Rotterdam on First Incubator Projects

    For reasons never explained, Lejla allows the old man to keep his pigeons in the room where he spends all his time. The birds create a terrible mess and, one would think, a serious health risk. But the doctor who visits from time to time doesn’t appear to be concerned. After many months of this, […]

  • Andrew DuncanMomentum Pictures with The Cinema

    'Florida Project' Producer Steps Down Amid Harassment Claims

    For reasons never explained, Lejla allows the old man to keep his pigeons in the room where he spends all his time. The birds create a terrible mess and, one would think, a serious health risk. But the doctor who visits from time to time doesn’t appear to be concerned. After many months of this, […]

  • 'Antiporno' Review

    Film Review: 'Antiporno'

    For reasons never explained, Lejla allows the old man to keep his pigeons in the room where he spends all his time. The birds create a terrible mess and, one would think, a serious health risk. But the doctor who visits from time to time doesn’t appear to be concerned. After many months of this, […]

  • Nicholas Hoult Current War

    Film News Roundup: Shooting Wraps on Nicholas Hoult's 'Tolkien' Biopic

    For reasons never explained, Lejla allows the old man to keep his pigeons in the room where he spends all his time. The birds create a terrible mess and, one would think, a serious health risk. But the doctor who visits from time to time doesn’t appear to be concerned. After many months of this, […]

  • Disney-Fox Deal Casts Future of Fox

    Disney-Fox Deal Casts Future of Fox Studio Lot Into Doubt

    For reasons never explained, Lejla allows the old man to keep his pigeons in the room where he spends all his time. The birds create a terrible mess and, one would think, a serious health risk. But the doctor who visits from time to time doesn’t appear to be concerned. After many months of this, […]

  • Loveless Movie Wild Bunch

    Oscars: Nine Films Advance in Foreign-Language Race

    For reasons never explained, Lejla allows the old man to keep his pigeons in the room where he spends all his time. The birds create a terrible mess and, one would think, a serious health risk. But the doctor who visits from time to time doesn’t appear to be concerned. After many months of this, […]

  • Andy Muschietti

    'It' Director Andy Muschietti Eyed for 'Electric State' From Russo Brothers

    For reasons never explained, Lejla allows the old man to keep his pigeons in the room where he spends all his time. The birds create a terrible mess and, one would think, a serious health risk. But the doctor who visits from time to time doesn’t appear to be concerned. After many months of this, […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content