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Beautiful People

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Beautiful People

Starring: Julian Firth, Heather Tobias
Director: Jasmin Dizdar
Rated: NR
RunTime: 107 Minutes
Release Date: September 1999
Genre: Drama

*Also starring: Dado Jehan, Edin Dzandzanovic, Faruk Pruti, Charlotte Coleman, Rosalind Ayres, Roger Sloman, Steve Sweeney, Siobhan Redmond

Review by MrBrown
3½ stars out of 4

A couple of people walked out, never to return, about 20 minutes into this British import, and I can understand their impatience. Jasmin Dizdar's is packed with a number of characters and plotlines and takes its sweet time setting them all up that the opening stages cannot help but seem like a complete jumble. But to quote the trailer for _Magnolia_--to which this somewhat similar film has been compared--"this will all make sense in the end." _Beautiful_People_ is cut from the same Altman-esque cloth as Paul Thomas Anderson's film, following different lives as they criss-cross over a stretch of days in London.

One key difference is that these lives mostly, in some way, end up touching upon a central issue: the unrest in Bosnia. Two men who knew each other in the old country--one a Serb (Dado Jehan), the other a Croat (Faruk Pruti)--meet by chance on a bus and then proceed to beat the living daylights out of each other, landing themselves in the hospital. There, Portia (Charlotte Coleman), a med student borne of a rich English family, falls for a fresh Bosnian immigrant named Pero (Edin Dzanzanovic), whom she treated during rounds. The mishap that brought him there was related by association to the sad and angry Dr. Mouldy (Nicholas Farrell), whose wife has just left him; among his patients is one Bosnian refugee (Walentine Giorgiewa) bearing a war enemy's child. Dr. Mouldy lives next door to a strict teacher (Roger Sloman), whose son Griffin (Danny Nussbaum) hangs with a drug-addled crowd. Among Dr. Mouldy's son's schoolmates is the daughter of a BBC news reporter (Gilbert Martin) whose latest location assignment is in... Bosnia.

Despite the serious issue that serves as the film's connective tissue, _Beautiful_People_ is not overwhelmingly grim. There are moments of sadness and shocking brutality, but there are just as many more comic moments, in particular Griffin's hilariously unpredictable yet strangely moving thread. The film is also more about Bosnia: it's about the immigrant experience in general; it's about tolerance; it's about making a difference; it's about learning to make the best of what one has. _Beautiful_People_ is indeed a beautiful film, one that is thought-provoking and moving while always remaining entertaining.

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