Review: ‘Calimucho’

A circus artiste tries to juggle love, desire and her dead sister's job in Dutch verite-fiction hybrid "Calimucho."

A circus artiste tries to juggle love, desire and her dead sister’s job in Dutch verite-fiction hybrid “Calimucho.” Helmer Eugenie Jansen (“Sleeping Rough”) shows a continuing interest in people with roots elsewhere — or, in the case of this protag, nowhere — and pic’s performances are all unaffected. But her latest effort lacks the narrative punch needed to put on a real show in commercial engagements. Euro tube and smaller fests are the likeliest takers.

Jansen used real circus folk who moonlighted as thesps for her during their off-hours, greatly adding to pic’s authenticity. Main story arc, involving Dicky (Dicky Kilian) and her relationship with Willy (Willy Soeurt) and his son (Timo Soeurt) by her late sister, was scripted, though the dialogue was largely improvised. Dicky’s growing physical attraction to a Maghrebi tent builder (Tarek Hannoudi) threatens the fragile status quo, but the dramatic resolution feels muted. German circus musicians act like a Greek chorus, adding some structure to an otherwise meandering narrative, while Adri Schrover’s widescreen lensing shows off the absurd, Fellini-esque beauty of the circus.

Calimucho

Netherlands

Production

An A-Film release of a Circe Film presentation and production. (International sales: Circe Film, Amsterdam.) Produced by Stienette Bosklopper. Directed by Eugenie Jansen. Screenplay, Natasha Gerson, Rogier de Blok.

Crew

Camera (color, widescreen), Adri Schrover; editor, Patrick Minks; music, Ralf Huppertz, Manfred Huppertz, Joshy Huppertz. Reviewed at Netherlands Film Festival, Utrecht, Netherlands, Sept. 28, 2008. Dutch, German, Arabic, French dialogue. Running time: 98 MIN.

With

Dicky Kilian, Willy Soeurt, Tarek Hannoudi, Timo Soeurt, Ralf Huppertz, Manfred Huppertz, Joshy Huppertz.

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