Cristian, a young idealistic prosecutor whose career is on the rise, tries to crack a case against a senior colleague accused of corruption. The dilemma of choosing between his career and ...
See full summary »
Roman returns to the land he has just inherited from his grandfather. Fully decided to sell this vast but desolate property, he is warned by the local cop that his grandfather was a local ... See full summary »
"Bucharest Non-Stop" is a Romanian feature film that tells the story of a neighborhood of Bucharest. More specifically, the film is a night of non-stop life of a store located in a ... See full summary »
Love. It just happens. No rules. It may look sick, but it's deep and it hurts. For everyone, Alex and Kiki are just good friends. They happen to be two girls experiencing another kind of love. For their family, Kiki and Sandu are sister and brother who sometimes fight. They happen to be lovers. Love Sick is about their stories.
Marius is a divorced man in his late thirties. His five year-old daughter Sofia lives with her mother, which causes Marius a deep frustration. On the day Marius arrives to take his daughter... See full summary »
In 1911-12, the Romanian movie director Grigore Brezianu and the financial tycoon Leon Popescu made together the 2 hours long movie "Romania's Independence" - an as faithful as possible ... See full summary »
Marius Florea Vizante,
A humble Romanian actor in his 30s, hardly surviving between a complicated part in a musical, a depressed wife, and the obsession of an imminent, devastating earthquake, becomes the victim of his manipulative father.
'The World Is Mine' is about a teenager's drama in the 2000s, focusing on the story of Larisa (Ana Maria Guran), a regular teenager from Constanta, Romania. Larisa wants a lot from life: ... See full summary »
Nicolae Constantin Tanase
Ana Maria Guran,
Paul Hanganu loves two women. Adriana his wife and the mother of their daughter, the woman with whom he's shared the thrills of the past ten years, and Raluca the woman who has made him redefine himself. He has to leave one of them before Christmas.
Cristian, a young idealistic prosecutor whose career is on the rise, tries to crack a case against a senior colleague accused of corruption. The dilemma of choosing between his career and the truth weighs heavily on his shoulders. Looking further to solve the case, he enters a danger zone paved with unexpected and painful revelations.
There is no doubt to me that the film is very well informed on what surrounded the real-life case of Cristian Panait and Alexandru Lele. The former, a young prosecutor in Bucharest, was pressured to initiate the criminal prosecution of the latter, a local prosecutor in Oradea. Lele had ordered the arrest of the son of a local party bigwig, on charges of being involved in a petrol smuggling ring. The political ramifications of the case were immense at the time, in an era that can arguably be identified as the worst for the rule of law in post-communist Romania, especially in relation to the complexity of the criminal/political machinations.
Tudor Giurgiu and Loredana Novak adapted this story into the semi-fictional "Why Me?". In doing so, they kept the core themes of corruption, political webs of interest and individual persecution, and molded them to fit a traditional narrative structure. What came out was the tragic story of Panait, here renamed Panduru, who is cornered into losing his mind while passing through cinematic stereotypes of political thrillers, rather than exploring the deeper roots of his anxieties. This leads to the crux of its undoing, creating a believable scenario where Panduru goes from self-confident to self-destructive within a time frame of a couple of weeks.
That is not to say that the movie is without merit. At times, it is a powerful indictment of powerlessness in the face of systemic corruption, as it effectively portrays the bullish hierarchical relationships that arise in certain bureaucracies. But as it focuses on Panduru, it has a hard time delivering an empathetic character - instead, we are served with Emilian Oprea's stiff and robotic interpretation, which occasionally engages, but never emotes. Moreover, Giurgiu employs several stereotypes and tropes you would expect from a Hollywood screenwriter/director, as lurid sex scenes of no obvious relevance and pointless mistresses spice up some unimaginative camera pans and shots, including the already classic downwards looking spiral staircase, which is complemented here with repeated battery removal procedures from some old school Nokia phones.
Perhaps I am being overly harsh, because it all comes together in a compact, competent, if rather undisciplined manner. But it is unusual to see Romanian films failing to be authentic in dialogue or setting, as what should be 2002 rarely feels farther away than 2015, while the bullishness doesn't have the expected bite. When it actually does work, like in the repeated use of the utterly condescending and demeaning expression of "boy", generally used by superiors in conversation with Panduru, you do feel the weight of the world on his shoulders, right there. It's just that the film lacks the fascinating depth that a proper analysis of the facts would have allowed.
9 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this