Monday, December 22, 2014

Love Hunter: Cabbie Comedy Tenderizes Travis Bickle With Tough Love Tale

This doc fiction musical combo hybrid, conventional immigrant urban odyssey in search of the American dream displays substantial bittersweet if odd, raw charm in the person of aspiring Big Apple Serb rock musician, Milan Mumin. And in a kind of cabbie's comical antidote to De Niro's darkly desolate Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver. With a humorous array of eccentric when not exasperating ferried passengers in tow.

But the narrative is riddled with persistent anachronisms and contradictions that derail any effective dramatic coherence. Foremost, that Mumin doesn't seem to have read the news lately. Namely, that the American dream, somewhat mythological to begin with except for a fortunate few, has been essentially derailed by a far flung economic crisis in progress, here and around the world.  And  - reality check moment - does Mumin have absolutely no recollection of US President Bill Clinton's massive bombing of his country in league with NATO - the 78 day destruction whose 16 year anniversary is in fact  commemorated this week. Even as the physical scars remain. 

As for the story itself, with his visiting Serbian girlfriend (Jelena Stupljanin) framed here as the villain for nagging him to get real and give up rocker dreams already in his midlife years, she seems to have a point even if not intended. That is, with Mumin coming off more like those aging rockers looking ludicrous performing as imagined young studs on stage -  and with seemingly far less talent - Mumin ironically sabotages the sympathy he works so hard at drumming up for himself. And maybe should have taken his Serbian girlfriend's tough love advice to begin with.

Prairie Miller

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