The Last Station

Executive producer, Daniel Zuta.

Executive producer, Daniel Zuta.

Directed by Bogdan (Dumitrescu) Dreyer. Screenplay, Leo Benvenuti, Massimo Bavastro, Piero De Bernardi, Dreyer. Camera (color), Doru Mitran; editor, Adina Georgescu-Obroca; music, Adrian Enescu; art director, Calin Papura. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 16, 1999. German title: Die letzte Station. Running time: 87 MIN.

With: Sergio Rubini, Marion Kracht, Darel Visan.

(German soundtrack version)

An often broadly played, ironic comedy about a hick in the big city, “The Last Station” is of interest only for the presence of Italian star Sergio Rubini , whose stab at a mustachioed, mop-haired Romanian is one of the pic’s many oddities. Doused in Central Euro ambience and production values, this largely German-financed movie reps a step back for Romanian-born helmer Bogdan Dumitrescu (here adopting the surname Dreyer), as its only possible market is the small screen.

The somewhat dim Nelu (Rubini) leaves his village when his grandfather dies and travels to Bucharest to earn some coin for his family, working as an undertaker’s assistant. Much of the comedy depends more on Rubini’s hangdog appearance than on anything in the script (flat) or direction (unremarkable), and in general the movie is better during moments of pathos, as when Nelu’s father dies during a trip to visit him in town. Pic has none of the simplicity and charm of helmer’s previous fest item, “Thalassa, Thalassa. Return to the Sea” (1995). Print caught was German-dubbed, with Rubini clearly mouthing Italian and most of the cast Romanian.

The Last Station

(DRAMA -- GERMAN-ROMANIAN-ITALIAN)

Production: A Daniel Zuta Filmproduktion (Germany)/Filmex Romania (Romania)/CDI (Italy) production, in association with HR and BR. (International sales: Daniel Zuta, Frankfurt.)

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