Two Lottery Tickets: An all-too-familiar situational comedy
by Stefan Dobroiu
- Its low budget and a good promotional campaign may turn Paul Negoescu's comedy into one of the very few profitable Romanian films
After he debuted in 2012 with the minimalist youth drama A Month in Thailand [+see also:
interview: Paul Negoescu
film profile], director Paul Negoescu changes direction with the comedy Two Lottery Tickets [+see also:
interview: Paul Negoescu
film profile], which screened in the Romanian Days sidebar of this year's Transilvania International Film Festival; he will then go back to relevant cinema with the drama Never Let It Go (read the news). An ultra-independent comedy about three slackers who buy a lottery ticket and lose it just before realising that it would bring them a fortune, Two Lottery Tickets seems determined to offer the Romanian audience what it lacks most: a straightforward situational comedy with three characters one can laugh both with and at.
Produced by Actoriedefilm.ro (the acting school and production company behind one of Romanian cinema’s recent surprises, Iulia Rugină’s Love Building [+see also:
interview: Iulia Rugina
film profile]), Two Lottery Tickets stars actor-director Dorian Boguţă as Dinel, a small-town car mechanic who is desperate to earn money in order to help his girlfriend come back from Italy. After a hugely disappointing day at work, a drink with his best friends – gambling addict Sile (Dragoş Bucur) and the cool-headed Pompiliu (Alexandru Papadopol) – makes Dinel invest in a lottery ticket, with surprising consequences.
Made with the audience in mind, the comedy offers a range of interesting situations and explores a certain small-town mentality. Although it isn’t difficult to connect with the three heroes, the screenplay written by Negoescu feels both too familiar and tame, which results in the feature feeling too similar to a TV sitcom for its own good.
Two Lottery Tickets is the first Romanian feature since the 1990s to be shot by a woman (Ana Drăghici), and its vivid colours take advantage of some well-chosen locations (the heroes make a trip to Bucharest), but ultimately the film is significant only as part of an eagerly awaited change of direction in Romanian cinema: an avalanche of genre productions, mainly comedies, hitting the screen in the second half of the year.
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