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23 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

A train for yesterday

3/10
Author: FcPoliFan from Timisoara, Romania
8 November 2004

You know, Sergiu Nicloaescu...he's a man most people living in Romania have heard of. As a matter of fact, when I participated at a certain seminar and people were asked to name a Romanian film director, his name popped up on most of the lists. I hadn't seen any of his films and simply had to be intrigued by such a seemingly mesmerizing person.

I suppose you all know the saying "Don't judge a book by its cover". It hardly applies, but you catch my drift. If art didn't have any political implications, maybe we'd have missed many masterpieces along the years. However, there is a certain limit where it all has to end. Most unfortunately, limits (still) tend to be overshadowed and misplaced around here...which might well explain a thing or two.

The film just isn't in any way how I imagined it to be. There's little of a storyline to follow, for it's a...aham, character study. Take note, authentically ONE character. Obviously, Nicolaescu's. The film goes so far as to harass the dignity an active human brain might possess. Nicolaescu's self-obsession is rather pregnant throughout the gazillion minutes the movie stretches and ends up being a severe insult brought not only to movie goers, but to the whole Romanian nation. It may sound harsh, but it's a fact, because it's an issue of image and we're way behind on this. 2004 really wasn't a glamorous year for Romanian cinema, but to present "Orient Express" to a foreign public is similar to inflicting yourself cut wounds. Luckily enough, such wounds heal, but it can take a while. About the film, well...people act very strange in the mystic forests around the prince's castle, while the superficial image of society is tasteless and hollow. Were it not for the unexpected beginning, I'd dare to say it's an endless bore. And, actually, it is.

Nicolaescu's effort consists of gathering a mostly talentless cast (not endangering his superior position) and then shooting an absolutely disappointing flick. I suppose he's got at least one good film in his credits, however, with Orient Express, he proves to be a most untalented director. 3/10

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16 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

one of the worst movies of the well known director Sergiu Nicolaescu

5/10
Author: Optimus_ from Romania
12 February 2005

It's hard to find a single good aspect of the movie, except for strong acting from romanian star Gheorghe Dinica and surprisingly nice performance of Valentin Teodosiu, an actor which i my opinion deserves better roles then he usually gets in movies.

For the rest, the didactic speech of the main character, spread over half the movies, practically kills any interest for the picture quite quickly.

Mr Nicolaescu should realise that the audience is hardly interested in his vision about nobility, or in a romantic image of the last days of the romanian aristocracy.

With the two exceptions already mentioned, acting is 70'ish and of a poor quality, the movie has lost of clichés and generally speaking, without being a horrible experience, is practically a waste of time to watch.

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9 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

One of the worst films I've seen in a while...

1/10
Author: Endymyon (endymyonro@yahoo.com) from Germany
21 November 2005

I know most of Sergiu Nicolaesu's work and somehow in my early childhood back in Romania I enjoyed it. There were mainly war movies going all the way from The Romans and Dacians till The Second World War battles. But this one is a caricature of a flick... No substance, bad acting, no camera movement just to name a few... The actors are incredible dull and shallow and the plot... but what the hack... there is no plot, just a narcissistic character with some gushy women orbiting around him. It seems as it was intended to be a C movie from the start and hopefully it does. So save your ticket and popcorn money for something more interesting.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

this is a no-no

Author: bonnie_0315 from here and there
4 June 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I must say it was a test of inner strenght to watch the whole movie, this is one of the worst products of Romanian cinematography...but then again none of Mr. Nicolaescu's films impressed me. Just a waste of budget money...

As always, he is the director and the main character but he is no Charlie Chaplin, as well as being a bad director, he is a horrible actor, I don't understand why had to make just another movie centered on his character(an 80yr old "prince" that makes all the women love him with desperation)

In his quest for adulation, Nicolaescu inserted some cheesy lines, like "youth is wasted on the young" and (as many times before) decided to make it all dramatical by killing almost everybody in the end. Don't watch this movie...it's a waste of time

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

excellent movie

Author: Dan Stancu
25 November 2009

The movie's overall has a great taste for anyone who loves crime and mystery.

For those who know the actor is not worth seeing this movie unless you leave aside your prejudism and think that Sergiu Nicolaescu is not in fact Sergiu Nicolascu.

The actor here looks old - white hair and rids on his face. Don't judge. This movies implies simplicity and intelligence altogether. The actor does not wear any makeup and leaves his character to be seen as it is.

The plot is not all the way sincere because thats how all mysterious plots are. In the end it is felt and revealed what really happened.

It is a movie that requires seriosity and analysis. If you possess any of these skills then you will find this movie significant and mesmerizing.

I consider that by far this is an excellent movie.

Dan

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A very brave production

Author: George from Romania
2 May 2006

The kind of movie that let's you in it even though you left the cinema for a while. Makes room for that pure epic performance very few Romanian movies have. And still all that drama is Noble, not shocking. It let's you know that higher class is maybe not so bad, maybe dirt is not so much better then cleanliness, and it spits on every single movie promoting common things we see every day. A very brave movie because it doesn't try to make ordinary people feel good about themselves, it doesn't use issues that most people find themselves in. It has almost no connection to the real world, or any significant parts of Romanian history. It's a solitary and original movie from all points of view. A production that's worth respect.

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self-portrait

Author: Vincentiu from Romania
8 January 2013

I saw this film yesterday. with fear to be a disappointment. as piece for define Nicolaescu silhouette. and my verdict is not very enthusiastic - it is a self-portrait, a will and , in same measure, a grave. because it reflects his world. his vision. about himself and about Romanian society. because long speeches and not inspired dialogs are bricks for his posterity. it is a chaotic melancholic movie. a show of lessons. and broken stories. remarkable presence - Gheorghe Dinică. interesting presence - Dan Puric. but each of them is only promise. it is a strange film. not an adaptation. only a kind of diary. not bad but in many scenes - boring. drops, slices, shadows of feelings. and a figure of a prince far from time and people. an inhuman prince. crumbs from Felix and Otilia . fall of an universe and last gesture of a version for king Lear. and conclusion - Sergiu Nicolaescu was not an actor. only hanger. for its characters.

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9 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Great movie....but only for humans...

10/10
Author: Crashtested_2004 from Romania
25 February 2006

I've seen this movie, and it is great. The actors are some of the best, but Sergiu Nicolaescu wanted to do something different, so he brought in some new ones.

I have seen most of Sergiu Nicolaescu's movies, and THERE IS NO COMUNIST PROPAGANDA IN THEM WHATSOEVER!!! I do not know what absolute idiot chose to comment this movie first...but it is obvious that he did not understand anything from it....probably his intellect is to low...

He said that Nicolaescu's movies are o no quality...but that proves that he is an imbecile... Sergiu Nicolaescu is one of the greatest directors, and many people agree that he is the greatest "battle scene director" in the world.

His movies are filled with "patriotism" because they have a history based topic. It is obvious that these high quality movies are not for idiots...

Orient Express is an extraordinary movie...a MUST SEE for anyone who can understand it.

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9 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

The movie is the renaissance of Romanian cinematography

10/10
Author: oana5874
24 May 2005

I have seen the movie, and I think it's the renaissance of the Romanian cinematography. I liked it, I've always liked the aristocrat movies, and I think the director Sergiu Nicolaescu has proved once more that he is the most famous Romanian movie director ever. The Romanian cinematography has had a crack-up after the 1989-revolution which demolished communism, but now I think it started to come back again. It was a very nice surprise watching this movie and it gave me confidence for the future Romanian movies. I want to invite everyone to see it and then judge. I felt very sorry seeing some negative comments from some users, and mostly because they were Romanians... It's strange how some people like to pull down every good thing which happens in this country...

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Titanic disillusion

Author: Vlad Rotariu (vlady_r2002@yahoo.com) from Sibiu, Romania
20 February 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Like the Titanic or some expensive old-timer the Orient Express is more than a simple mean of transport:it represents traveling in luxury,providing stability,comfort and elegance seldom to be achieved today.Even more,Nicolaescu tried to turn his film into an own version of Titanic,the luxury train being the only reminder an old prince has of his past.Like Rose De Witt Bukater remembers her youth always in connection with the Titanic in its glory days,the old prince eventually "meets" persons from his past in the Orient Express-this is the way his approaching death is depicted,much like the way Rose from Titanic ends,in an endless kiss from her late lover,surrounded by other dead persons,becoming alive and kicking in the famous ship before its sinking. Besides Titanic,Nicolaescu imitates visibly Visconti's Gattopardo,even Nicolaescu's very stylishly trimmed beard and mustache obviously reminding of Burt Lancaster's looks while he played Don Fabrizio Di Salina,however without being able to compete with Lancaster's acting skills. The rest is typically Nicolaescu:he changes the action from the original novel significantly(by the way read the book,much better than the film),introducing new characters,changing names,twisting plots and even the outcome of the character's actions.It goes so far that characters which don't die in the book are here sacrificed(in the tear-jerking Titanic or Legends of the Fall style),only to make things more melodramatic. The message of the film is even more(falsely)didactic:everything stresses upon how inhuman the prince is,sort of Sade,Dorian Grey or Mephisto capable only to stylishly pervert the lives of the adorable,idyllic simple people(a Communist bias concerning the decay of the "exploiters"),therefore he must fail.In fact,the character shows only a certain fascination towards fleeing from reality,but maybe this is his way to show his human side-note that Don Fabrizio wasn't inhuman either,bearing a very intense emotional life under his cold aristocratic elegance.The proletarian anger against the ruling classes is simply annoying-even if an aristocrat's conduct might seem awkward to the common man,getting to know the values of the aristocrats eventually enables a different viewpoint. This film would have been great,but only with another director and another actor in the main part.

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