|Index||8 reviews in total|
I guess Radu Muntean was wrong by expecting his movie to have more
appeal to the general audience than "Hartia va fi albastra". It's
obviously too subtle and stylish. As one can easily notice, the
uneducated spectators, brain-washed by the blockbusters, are simply
unable to grok it.
Bogdan Ciocazan's struggle with the final good-bye to youth and ultimate step into maturity is convincing and full of feeling, and it really touches one's heart. What annoyed me for real were the reactions of the few baboons who left the theater, muttering about "hey, it ain't nuthin' but words 'ere, nuthin' does't 'appenin'!" Again, Tudor Lucaciu's cinematography is a perfect example of the new values reached by Romanian movie-making - but you need to have watched more than Nicolaescu and Dragan, shot by old-timers as Girardi, to fully appreciate a stylish photography.
As such, it's strongly recommended to see it - but, of course, only if you know what cinema is about. If not, no loss - "Poveste de cartier" is waiting for you, with its light-drowning images and hifi Dolby manele!
This is the first un-Romanian Romanian movie. It's the first Romanian
film, after the '89 revolution, not built on social themes, on the
subject of the Securitate officers or about how bad life is in Romania.
It's the film we all needed like air: without
intellectualized-psychological-metaphysical ambitions, without hidden
metaphors born out of the dire fear of not being praised by critics.
It's simply a film about the husband-wife relationship, about the
father and husband responsibility versus the desire to party with old
friends. "Boogie" is also the first movie that may very well have been
American, French or Uruguayan. It doesn't matter it takes place in
Romania; it doesn't exhibit the national character, it doesn't take
apart the mechanism of the Wallachian soul, it doesn't realize the
radiography of the Romanian society. It is simply a film about people
in their 30's who try to reconcile marriage and partying, freedom and
responsibilities, teenage and adulthood.
There are also shortcomings (but infinitely less important than the film's qualities): the annoying compromise aimed at pleasing the critics (that is the missing end, or conclusion, of the film, which, it seems, automatically marks it as an "art film"), generally speaking the paradoxical lack of sense of the movie (which seemed more of an episode of a good series), also casting Anamaria Marinca - one of the few finest Romanian actresses, who plays sensationally, but seems to be overqualified for this role.
Back to the qualities of the film: they all played exceptionally well; special mentions for the always excellent Mimi Branescu and for the funny as hell Roxana Iancu; dialogs are great; you even get to laugh heartily (a rare thing when it comes to Romanian films); it is never boring, not for one second; and it has some metaphors, too :)))) A special mention for the voluptuous pleasure with which the writers have the characters utter brand names, against the nowadays dimwitted trend of eliminating, to the absurd, their pronunciation at TV. It's a good thing the director comes from advertising ;) I would like "Boogie" to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship - between the Romanian movie maker and the public. The beginning has been made...
It's no exaggeration that "Boogie" could be considered, up to a certain
point, a Romanian twinner of "American Beauty" - it's the same kind of
drama, within its specific frame for early-middle-aged people. The
characters here are in their early thirties; one could easily imagine
that the incipient problems they are facing now will evolve into the
full-blown tragedy acted by Kevin Spacey and Annette Benning.
Fact is that Radu Muntean's movie is not only deep and grave, but masterfully made. Same as in his previous two works, Radu proves again that he has a very precise and powerful feeling of the camera lens, picking in the most discreet way exactly those details and angles that serve to build-up the tension. The paradox here is that, although nothing spectacular is happening, the inner stress of the situation builds-up to almost unbearable levels. An important role is played by the several-minutes-long shots, patiently depicting the slow-paced actions and dialogs, with the surprising result of a very intense load of anxiety and apprehension getting pent-up.
Definitely, "Boogie" is carrying forth the well-fated New Generation in Romanian cinema!
This movie you either like all the way to the end - or you dislike entirely. This will explain some of the most-favorable comments, but also some of the opinions against it. There's no middle way - either you're into this type of movies, or not. The amateurs for action, rough scenes, twisted plots and stuff like that will be left unsatisfied. The action is slow - however, the dialogue and the acting are extremely intelligent and well-performed. I know the Western viewer is not familiar with this type of cinema, and may not like it. In a way, you have to be a Romanian to like it. However, I'd like to think for myself that is because of movies like these that I believe again in the fate of Romanian cinema. Movies like "Hartia va fi albastra", "Patru luni, trei saptamini..." and now "Boogie" give me great hope. Great actors, great movie, awesome experience. Highly recommended.
'Summer Holiday' follows the format audiences have come to expect from
new-wave Romanian cinema - long scenes with fine actors using
improvised dialog, filmed in wide shots by hand-held camera. The story
unfolds over fifteen or so hours in a chilly coastal resort where
30-something Boogie is spending a few days Spring vacation with his
pregnant wife, Smaranda and their young son. He runs into some old
friends who persuade him to join them for a drink, and the evening
leads to an opportunity for Boogie to misbehave. The film's
shortcomings are apparent in the first scene on the beach where Boogie
hectors his son for poor sand-castle construction skills and bickers
with Smaranda - it's repetitive, lasts too long, and the characters are
not particularly engaging. These flaws reappear in too many of the
subsequent scenes where the actors portray the petty selfishness,
irresponsibility and banality of contemporary life.
Even though the talented cast deliver authentic performances, the story and characters lack sufficient substance to make their efforts truly compelling. Despite the presence of Anamaria Marinca, who was so outstanding in 'Four Months, Three Weeks, Two Days', 'Summer Holiday' falls a long way short of the originality and intensity of the earlier film.
conquest of past, summer, the search of happiness, a family, two friends. a special Romanian film for its profound honesty. nothing need to demonstrate, nothing useful for convince. only a story about few people and ordinaries experience. at first sigh, a film about nothing. and that is its great virtue. because decade by decade the Romanian cinema was victim of a specific thesis. under communism - political thesis. after 1990 - social demonstration. Boogie has the rare gift to not be vehicle for any form of propaganda. it is only the honest portrait of a family in holiday. few good young actors. a smart script. decent performances. a story without high ambitions. that is its great virtue. and the difference by a cinema lost in different demonstration's forms.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I do not know where to start.
Plot wise it is a failure. There should be a clash. But because of the scripting errors and bad acting the viewer ends up with a snapshot of some pathetic life. The characters are only cardboard silhouettes and everything feels like a shot. The main guy can be guessed because of his interactions. The wife is only nagging. There is a ray of light - she might be under some stress. But the stress is never there. The two pot-bellies turn out to be far from what they insinuated and they are failures, yet the two characters are also ironed out well so there is no trace of life in them. Even the two prostitutes (Roxana and Ramona) act like schoolgirls in love. The second one is so nice to take the money after. Bottom line this script shouts the wet dreams of two overgrown brats who know nothing about life in general. And everything turns even worse: the director is one of them so the whole interaction is something of a twisted fantasy lacking realism.
The acting is bad even for a first try. And these are called actors! Boogie acts flat and his voice is unsure, almost like forgetting the lines. His wife is nagging, but at the same time she is cold, disconnected, like wearing a suit that doesn't fit. If that was acting than the actress would have been ideal being Ramona. The two "buddies" act so lame I'm left with the impression that is their life story and not some acting. And even if that is acting it is totally wrong as they should have been adventurous. Instead of being two guys who have seen the hardships of life they are two mama's boys who have to pay in order to receive sexual gratification. Only the prostitutes act like scripted - like two school girls collated from another movie probably. They even pause in mid-sentence as a shy girl would do.
The execution is appalling. This is something common for all post '89 Romanian movies. Although the equipment gets better and better the people who use it seem less qualified each year. And all this bad lighting is called "natural camera". No, it's just the lack of qualified personnel.
Even as a whole this movie is terrible. It has the name of the main character, but he does not suffer any change. This is a mere snapshot of his life. A far more sincere title would have been "A Night with a Prostitute".
In the end the audience might be left puzzled. Given the anachronism pointed out here on IMDb - although the director wrote the script he can't change the location to his actual filming location. He can't move the camera enough to lose the recognizable bits of landscape. And certainly he is unable to do that in post-processing. One girl is named Roxana, yet Ramona is called Roxana in real life. It would have been impossible to change that as well as the other issue with the boys wanting to go bowling, not noticing they are already next to the bowling alley.
This film would have made a wonderful 4 minute feature. 30 seconds to show the estranged son. 40 seconds to prove the marriage is on the rocks. Another minute or so to present the lame boys night out and the rest to push for the middle aged drama - torn between a nagging wife and a lover by the hour. Only that the boys aren't middle aged.
They say corruption is rampant in Romania. This would be a good example. Who in his or her right mind would pay for this waste of film? The state owned CNC. Weird. It would be far juicier to read who slept with whom to push this "product" forward. And it is pretty obvious the waste as an attempt to justify the given money. Starting with the pointless stops in acting (thoughtful some might say) and ending up with the pointless portable baby bed that can be seen through the door in the ending scene.
This production should have received a minus four, only that 1 is the lowest available.
I regret wasting two hours of my life with this film. Plot-wise, it is utterly pointless, Dragos Bucur's unconvincing struggle with his midlife crisis managed only to annoy the hell out of me. Frankly, it was so bad that it became uncomfortable to watch and I even considered walking out of the theatre, but I endured eventually. Also, from a technical point of view, this film is the perfect example of a standard Romanian production. Sound quality and cinematography are ridiculous. The background noises manage to drown half of the lines (not that one misses much wit there). Everything that could go wrong in a typically Romanian film goes wrong. There is really no point in seeing this for yourself, save two hours of your life and watch something else.
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