California Dreamin' (Nesfarsit) (Endless)

2007

California Dreamin' (Nesfarsit) (Endless)

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

89%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 18

82%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,131
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Movie Info

Romanian director Cristian Nemescu's comedy California Dreamin' (aka Nesfarsit, 2007) unfolds against the backdrop of the Kosovo War, circa 1999. A NATO train rolls through a Romanian hamlet, transporting a plethora of weapons across the country -- without official documents, and equipped only with the verbal consent of the Romanian authorities. The transport thus grows intensely vulnerable to the locals -- particularly the corrupt head of the railway station, who moonlights as a mobster and promptly decides to interfere with the shipment.

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Critic Reviews for California Dreamin' (Nesfarsit) (Endless)

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (6)

Audience Reviews for California Dreamin' (Nesfarsit) (Endless)

  • Mar 07, 2011
    It is 1999, and Captain Doug Jones(Armand Assante) is leading a joint NATO taskforce through Romania to bring telecommunications equipment to aid in the bombing in Kosovo. As luck would have it, they only make it as far as a small village where they are held up by Doiaru(Razvan Vasilescu), the station master, for lack of customs papers. The mayor(Ion Sapdaru) can do nothing to aid their progress. It's a shame because Doiaru's teenaged daughter Monica(Maria Dinulescu) was hoping to ride the train to escape to Bucharest but is brought back by her father's men, with a platoon of marines looking on helplessly. She's not the only person in town who hates her father as Nae(Gabriel Spahiu) has to take a number with his work stoppage. "California Dreamin'" is a decent enough tragicomedy and satirical allegory of both Romania's relationship to the world and America's effects on everybody else. It might seem a little odd that very few people in the village can speak English(yet, they can find an Elvis impersonator) in a post-Communist world but not so much that the Americans can only speak English.(Although, Romanian might make for a obscure choice in any case.) At the same time, despite their military might, a single stationmaster can bring everything to a halt. That's okay. Sometimes, a day off can do the world of good.(I really do sympathize with being stuck on a stopped train for a prolonged amount of time.) However, a lot of this feels forced with a slight "Romeo and Juliet" story line thrown in for good measure. For the record, absurd situations in Eastern Europe have been the stuff of fiction for a long time, but usually with no explanations given which is kind of the point.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 13, 2010
    California Dreaming was too long. For me the movie had multiple-personality disorder, meaning it was a comedy, a love story, then a touching story, suddenly a shocking, violent war drama. Not that these elements could not be combined in one movie, but it should fit together and felt like one story, or presented as separate stories. instead, everything was mashed together in weird way where it felt like each scene had a different director.I wasn't sure what the point of the movie was. Perhaps some scenes in the movie helped build up to the ending, but some didn't seem to fit with that story line at all.
    Daisy M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 10, 2008
    Interesting tale of culture clash at a Romanian train station linked to historical events. Similar themes to the WWII 'Americans oversexed and overhere' films of the 80's.
    Gordon A Super Reviewer
  • Jul 22, 2008
    MIFF '08: Because the director died at some point during production, this film was released without an ending. I can't imagine what else they planned to tack on as a finale - it already had a running time of two and a half hours, which was far too long in my opinion. But anyway, I liked what they had as an ending. It was ambiguous, but it wrapped things up quite nicely for Monica (who I saw as the main character in a cast of thousands) - although the fact that her body was seemingly an electrical conductor remains a mystery to me. There was a nice balance between comedy and drama - the black and white scenes dispersed throughout the film were especially epic and unsettling. It was just the length that got to me in the end. A lot could been cut out without damaging the story, I think.
    Robert F Super Reviewer

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