« Lights of Old Broadway | Main | Night of the Following Day »

May 19, 2021

Two Lottery Tickets


Doua lozuri
Paul Negoescu - 2016
Dekanalog Releasing

Two Lottery Tickets is the story of three friends in search of a misplaced winning lottery ticket. Most of the story takes place in a small town just far enough away from Bucharest. It appears to have been primarily an industrial town now with unused, rusted out factories. The three friends are just as forlorn, a car mechanic, a carpenter and a government functionary, men in their forties who get together in a small roadside bar to share complaints about life. Between the three of them, they guess the winning numbers for the six million Euro prize.

Thinking that the ticket was left in a fanny pack taken by a couple of punks outside the apartment of the mechanic, there is an apartment to apartment search for the culprits. Among the neighbors are some young stoners who share the unsuspecting trio some hash brownies, a family of fake clairvoyants, and a couple of sweet natured prostitutes. Ultimately a road trip is required taking the three to Bucharest and back in search of the fanny pack and the ticket.

This is a low-keyed comedy of observation, watching mature men who often display the critical thinking skills of young teenagers. As might be anticipated, the three are the type of guys who just can not keep themselves from screwing up. Their collective naivety is both a curse and salvation. There is also some gentle skewering of Romanian cinema as represented by by Cristi Paiu and Cristian Mungiu. Two Lottery Tickets was a popular success in Romania, attributed to it being a relatable, audience friendly comedy.

Some English speaking viewers may be put off slightly by the fanny pack referred to by the British slang "bum bag". The film would also have benefitted from offering subtitles to the guitar driven songs by Flora Pop that would presumably have provided some extra commentary on the characters.

Two Lottery Tickets will have a limited theatrical release simultaneous with a virtual cinema release, beginning Friday.

Posted by Peter Nellhaus at May 19, 2021 07:03 AM