Crazy Love (DVD)
Wednesday, Mar 11, 2015
This is a rather mind-blowing documentary about the twisted "love" story of Burt and Linda Pugach. Maybe love is the wrong word. Obsession certainly fits. Darker descriptors may also apply. At the outset, their story seems like the kind of fairy tale love story cheesy romance movies and novels are made of. Burt was a successful young lawyer, and Linda a beautiful young woman. He sees her walking down the street and decides she's the one, and begins wining and dining her, and taking her for rides in his flashy cars and private planes. But something is clearly bound to go wrong, or else why would there be a documentary about them?
At every turn, their story only gets more peculiar. Linda breaks off the relationship after she finds out that Burt is married. He desperately tries to convince her he will leave his wife, and when she is still not taken in, he resorts to stalking and threats. It turns out his threats are far from idle. He hires men to throw lye in Linda's face, intending to disfigure her so that no one else will want her, and succeeding in blinding her in one eye and severely impairing her vision in the other. While most rational people would assume that this turn of events would place a very firm period at the end of their relationship, Linda turns to Burt while he's in prison for some much-needed financial support. I assumed any contact between Burt and Linda while he was in prison would emphasize the necessity of keeping him locked up, but surprisingly, his willingness to help her out contributes to the decision to parole him after only a year. At this point in the story, it's certainly easy for the viewer to look at Burt's actions and say, "He's crazy." But then Linda does something that is just as incomprehensible as anything Burt has done--she takes him back.
Fans of documentaries, true crime, and tales of the more outlandish side of human psychology will be captivated by this narrative. It was definitely hard for me to sympathize with either Burt or Linda, but there's no way I could truthfully say that I didn't find them and their actions fascinating.