…Or so they say. Reading movie reviews makes me often question whether the writers have bothered to see the bloody movies in the first place. Or do they just take a look at the (sometimes inaccurate) synopsis and declare that “they are smart enough to tell people what to think”. Anyways, it only matters that you can use a lot of posh semiotic truths and by that review anything you know the title of, right?
Before going to Lithuania I had a chance to see a German-Romanian movie called “Beautiful Bitch”. From the previews I found out that the story takes place in my future home, Bucharest. And as they said, it is about two girls who befriend each other and the rich girl (Milka) basically saves the poor one (Bica) from living like that.
Well, yeah. Only there are many loopholes in these previews (and not-surprisingly in the reviews of many critics). Like the basic fact that they show very little of Bucharest in the movie. The action takes place in Germany, where to Bica leaves to earn enough money to help out her little brother who was taken away from her by the social workers.
The other thing is the line “Bica is better known by nickname Bitch on the streets”. Well, when you hear only one spoiled rich brat (said to be a friendly girl) call her Bitch – for she has no idea how you have to pronounce a Romanian name like Bica (you say it bii’tsa) and says the first similar and a bit degrading thing that pops into her head – then surely you can say that everybody calls her like that. Even if they don’t.
It’s even funny how some critics can be so sure about their knowledge that they can say “what a life-distant movie, nobody lives like that” and “the other movie I know (and which I actually saw) is so much better than this one”. Well. Nobody knows how people really live in circumstances they’ve never been in. You can guess and you can talk about what you think (in the form “I think”, not “it’s like that and that’s the way it is”). But you can never know the life apart your own.
You see, some filmmakers have actually done some research for their movies. They roughly know how thing are said to be, they have talked to people in these conditions and then they present one way of telling a story which actually is a mixture of many different stories. Okay, this girl didn’t have that problem, but this one did, he wasn’t like that, but he was. And all these sort of things. How can you say then, that this isn’t the real thing? You can’t. Someone might be living it. Go tell them that their lives are not real.
For me, most of the storyline seemed authentic enough. The streets of the poor neighborhood and the malls of a well-fare Western Europe. The poor conditions Bica and the other thieves were said to live in, weren’t a classical dirt-and-cobwebs everywhere. It looked like a normal out-of-hand apartment when you haven’t got the time or the money to fix it up. It’s a normal place to be, because you need a roof above your head. And that made it felt real enough for me.
Okay, some of the storyline, especially what it comes to relationships, were a bit of a make-believe. Well. You’re a spoiled girl and you see a girl who steals your father’s wallet, you chase her around, punch her the next time you see her, hold a grudge against her for a couple of days and then be her best fiend even though she doesn’t talk to you much and the guy you like, starts liking her. But, hey, the heroine must have a friend.
Margit Adorf wrote in an Estonian culture-newspaper Sirp that the ending of the movie was kind of sweet like a syrup and that in a bad sense of it. Really? Well, Bica had all the chances to stay in Germany and start living a normal life there. She said no, got back to Romania and nothing really changed for her.
She didn’t steal any more and got a non-paid job at the same kiosk she used to steal from. But she got back to the same poor conditions she was before, the same neighborhood. Even her new sneakers she stole from Germany got stoled back in Bucharest. So, how can you say that no-one steals behind a thief and how can you call this “happy end” and not the reality of some kind? Thing usually stay the way they were before and don’t often change into a fairytale. For real.
Adorf says that “Beautiful Bitch” is a syrup-jolly half-truth, which is superficial and has no real storyline. The only good things are good actors and locations. Well… I say you should see for yourself. It affected me when I saw that and I can say that if you trust my taste and want to see a reality-check in between these Hollywood soap-operas and action movies, then “Beautiful Bitch” is a rather good way of getting it.
And if someone knows the Romanian hip-hop song (it’s not German, pay attention to the language) from the end of the movie, tell me!