“Charlie Countryman” is a 21st century romantic adventure set in Romania.
Shia LaBeouf stars as Charlie, who finds himself thrown into the violent underworld of Bucharest after he follows his dead mother’s advice to go there. When he reaches the Romanian capital, Charlie falls for Gabi, a cello player with a mysterious dark past, played by Evan Rachel Wood.
“It is a hard film to described because I’ve never really seen another film like it. I would say it’s a thriller. It’s an action film but at the center of it there’s a very beautiful love story. But it is a gritty, violent romance and definitely trippy, definitely very dreamlike at times and visually very stunning,” says the actress.
Determined to protect Gabi from her crime boss of a husband, Charlie enters into a hallucinatory world filled with violence. Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen, who currently stars on US TV in “Hannibal” is genuinely frightening as the mentally unstable gangster with a gang of thugs at his disposal.
“I think at the end it’s a love story and it’s also… this boy is soul searching. I think anyone that’s ever experienced a loss like the two characters will understand, and I think – I would hope – that the movie would leave you with some sort of hope,” says Evan Rachel Wood.
Despite its A-list cast, the film has been accused of being overwrought and incoherent. Critics say Swedish filmmaker Frederik Bond, an award-winning commercial director, commits the classic transitional mistake many music video directors make by emphasizing style over substance.
Others, however, call it a promising feature debut that avoids strict genre classification.
The film is on limited release now in the United States and in Denmark.