In an unnamed Eurpean country, during an unnamed war (vaguely WWII, but not quite), acompletely green recruit (Dexter Fletcher) is so horrified by his first encounter with combat thathe flees his unit after wounding his commanding officer. He runs across a gypsy caravan, and,disguised as a madwoman (the “rawney” of the title) he joins the band. As if things weren’talready difficult with being pursued by his unit, he also falls in love with the daughter of BobHoskins, the ca…avan’s leader.
A unique piece, simultaneously taking place in a fantasy land and driving home the horrorsof war in brutal fashion (the scene where Fletcher assumes his disguise is a case in point). Fletcher is SUCH a trembling willow that he is a bit hard to warm up to, and the plot meanders.That said, Hoskins didn’t take the safe route here, and for that should be applauded.
The soundtrack is 2.0, and works fine in combat scenes, with jarring explosions in fullsurround. The dialogue isn’t quite as strong. The opening bit is almost inaudible, and there issome minor buzz otherwise. Not a bad mix for a bare-bones DVD of a 1988 film, but hardlyspectacular.
Much the same is true of the picture. It’s nice to have an anamorphic widescreen transfer,and the print is in good shape. The colours are a bit muddy, however, with the result that thenight scenes can be quite murky. The image is also soft, with features dissolving into flesh-coloured blobs in long shot.
The transfer is just barely adequate. The film itself is an intriguing work.
Special Features List
- Theatrical Trailer