Thoughts on House of Fools

Monday, September 27, 2010 12:05 PM By Simon

-During the First Chechen War, a psychiatric hospital on the border between the Russian republic of Ingushetia and Chechnya, which is already war-torn, is abandoned by its staff, either for buses to transport the patients, or just to escape the approaching Chechen army, the residents of the hospital are left to fend for themselves, frequently visited by groups from both sides.

-Protagonist-by-proxy is Zhanna (Yuliya Vysotskaya), a schizophrenic with the firm belief that popstar Bryan Adams (cameoing frequently in her daydreams), falls in love with a Chechen soldier (or bandit, depending on who's inhabiting the hospital at the time), played by Sultan Islamov.

-Good lord, this movie's good. The performances--anyway, because about half the cast are actors and half are real psychtiatric patients, and you can't really tell with some of them--are amazing, especially Vysotskaya, who's very sweet.

-The screenplay has some flaws, yes, and a lot of the stuff doing on is like an inside joke for Russians and Russian speakers, both culturally and otherwise.

-Fun fact: the song Bryan Adams sings in Shanna's fantasties is 'Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman' from Don Juan DeMarco.

-Also: there's a smallish character, an unnamed female Lithuanian sniper with the Chechens, who gets shot in the leg. She's played by Cecilie Thomsen, who was/is Bryan Adams's girlfriend, and starred in the video for the above song. Anyway, she and the guys are sitting having dinner, when they start having this really ridiculous argument that's kind of spoilerish, and she has the best 'fucking idiots' look on her face the whole time.

-Right. Anyway. A black comedy more than anything...

-Everyone go watch it.

-Also, fuck you, Rotten Tomatoes.


SugaryCynic said...

Ok, its on my list (I trust your judgment...for now)

September 27, 2010 at 2:37 PM
Patricia ~ The Naked Writer said...

ok imma go download it now arrrghh! it be pirating Tuesday see? :o)

September 27, 2010 at 8:50 PM
simoncolumb said...

wheres the 30-sentence story? I am trying to follow the story, yet I see nothing!

September 29, 2010 at 11:09 AM
Simon said...

Sugary: As opposed to later, when I'll have been revealed to be Elvis.

Patricia: Pirates! Hazzah!

simoncolumb: You have no idea how confused I was when I first read that.

September 30, 2010 at 5:38 PM