Like Tony Gatlif's previous outing Exiles, Transylvania comes as close as you possibly can to a plot without actually having one. In a ragbag, mashed up story, pretty Zingarina (Argento) travels to Romania with her buddy (Casar) and translator (Alendra Beoujard) to find the father of her unborn child, a musician called Milan (Costoldi). However, Milan wants nothing to do with her, which sends the broken-hearted Zingarina into a head spin and she dumps her companions. Picked up by travelling trader Tchangalo (Unel), the two embark on a road trip deep into the hinterland of Romania. Because the story is barely there, it's the characters that are front and centre and while Argento and Unel deliver sound performances, nothing much happens to them, and boredom soon creeps in. The usual Gatlif themes are present in Transylvania: the aforementioned plotless momentum (which Gatlif might argue is 'narrative space'), characters who are swallowed up by alien cultures, a bleak and desolate landscape and the massive part indigenous music plays. Gatlif is to be praised for not imposing/jamming scriptwriting rules, that result in the majority of releases seem formulaic, into his films but his deliberate shunning of story principles sometimes feels like he's throwing the toys out of the cot.
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