Bulgarian Lovers

"Good"

Bulgarian Lovers Review


First things first: Bulgarian Lovers doesn't take place in Bulgaria. The story unfolds on the fun-filled streets of Madrid, where a large community of middle-aged gay men are always on the lookout for sex and excitement. They find both with what seems to be an equally large group of young illegal immigrants from Bulgaria who know how to trade sex for money and make a go of it in a capitalist land. It's an "invasion of multicolored boys," as one excited observer exclaims. The Spaniards throw lavish parties, and the scruffy Bulgarians show up in droves, swooping down on the buffet and pigging out like they haven't eaten for days. One of the men quips that, "They think all the men in Spain are either cops or fairies since they're the only men who talk to them."

Wealthy consultant Daniel (Fernando Guillén Cuervo) is a fixture on the scene, and when he encounters Kyril (Dritan Biba), a hunky 23-year-old Bulgarian, it's love at first sight (or, more accurately, after a night of mind-bending sex). Even though he knows better, he's totally enthralled, much to the amusement of his sarcastic friends. The easygoing but ambitious Kyril makes no secret of his desire to get rich, drive a fast car, and marry Kalina (Anita Sinkovic), the girl he left back home. Daniel doesn't mind. He just keeps handing over hundreds of euros and promises to help Kyril "fix his papers." Daniel says, "I'd give my life for you." Kyril responds, "I'd also give your life for me." Not exactly the basis of a healthy relationship.

Before long, Kyril has gotten Daniel involved with a bunch of very shady East European mobsters who want to hire him for a questionable consulting gig. He pays to bring Kalina to Madrid to reunite with Kyril and even takes the foreign pair to meet his rich and very uptight family. In a very funny scene, Kalina grabs the camcorder and records not only everyone at the dining room table but also the candelabra, the silver service, and the glittering tableware as if she plans to come back later and steal it all.

When Kyril starts showing up with eye trouble and burned hands, and after Daniel's apartment is ransacked by masked gangsters, it apparent that Kyril is up to no good. Daniel's friends are insanely jealous that he's getting to "taste the emotions of crime," and Daniel seems to be enjoying it, too. He even buys Kyril a gold bracelet with a dollar-sign charm on it. Kyril snaps off the charm and sticks it through his earlobe as blood runs down his T-shirt.

Daniel even pays to send Daniel and Kalina back to Bulgaria for their wedding. He tags along with his camcorder, soaking up the scene and wondering how his little sexual adventure ever evolved to this point. Once back in Madrid, Kyril's life of crime accelerates, and though there can't be a truly happy ending, it seems that everyone has gotten what they wanted out of the deal.

That's what Bulgarian Lovers is really about: deals. There are buyers and sellers, and sellers will sell whatever they can to get ahead: sex, love, the illusion of love, whatever works. What makes the movie interesting is that Daniel gets in deep with his eyes wide open and is never totally deluded or crazed. His association with Kyril costs him plenty, but truly enjoys it, and you get the impression that when Kyril is out of his life, he'll simply call up his friends and arrange another party at which he'll find another Bulgarian lover and make another deal. It's cold and calculating, but for Daniel, it's a life.

Aka Los Novios Búlgarios.

Romania: You're next.



Bulgarian Lovers

Facts and Figures

Run time: 101 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 30th April 2003

Distributed by: TLA Releasing

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 53%
Fresh: 9 Rotten: 8

IMDB: 5.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer:

Starring: as Daniel, Dritan Biba as Kyril, Pepón Nieto as Gildo, Roger Pera as Abogado, as Kalina, Fernando Albizu as Mogambo, Roman Luknár as Simeon, Simón Andreu as Padre de Daniel

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