Relu is a family man. He has two children, a wife, and a double life. Seen through the eyes of his family, Relu Oncescu appears to be an ordinary taxi driver. No one suspects that Relu ...
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Relu is a family man. He has two children, a wife, and a double life. Seen through the eyes of his family, Relu Oncescu appears to be an ordinary taxi driver. No one suspects that Relu works as a collector for Capitanu, a local mobster. Neither of the two worlds (his family and the mafia) knows of the other's existence. Relu manages to keep everything under control, but not for long. After accidentally killing a man, he tries to get out of the underworld, but he can't find his way back. Day by day, the secrets he keeps become increasingly oppressive and the lies begin to surface, one by one.
At the time of writing this review, I have watched 5 episodes. The first season is 8 episodes long and we don't know if there will be a second season at this point, I'd say it's unlikely.
First of all, it's an ambitious project. It borrows ideas from series like Breaking Bad, which feel refreshing for the Romanian audience, but are definitely not original. Therefore, it currently stands at 9.2, which is way too high for what it had to show so far. A 6-7 would be more appropriate.
The main character is a taxi driver who's also working as a street collector for a local mobster. To be expected, it gets more and more difficult for him to hide one life from another, as they tend to become one and the same.
Most characters unfortunately feel like cardboard cut-outs, following stereotypes that we've all seen in plenty of movies and TV series before, however most of them are passable.
Serban Pavlu's performance isn't outstanding but it's solid enough for a lead role. He's a struggling man with two sides, a loving husband and overprotective father and a ruthless money collector, so that gives him quite a large range to work within.
Stefan Velniciuc delivers some funny lines as Nea Puiu and he's definitely the highlight in some scenes, providing most of the comedic tone in the show, lightening up the mood whenever it gets too tense.
Andreea Vasile plays the kingpin's apparently cold-hearted underling as Nico and Doru Ana plays Capitanu', a feared kingpin who everybody respects and listens to religiously.
The supporting cast generally does a poor job, with some exceptions (Gabriel Huian as Tedy comes to mind) and that isn't helped by the script, sometimes resulting in some awkward scenes.
The dialogue feels forced, due to the overuse of street slang that is unlike anything you'd actually hear in real life. It's mostly "by the book" slang and it feels artificial, even though it's intended to be genuine. This is probably my biggest complaint, since it constantly breaks the illusion that you are watching real people and not a TV series.
There's some smart use of music at times, which is always nice for people who appreciate such details, so it's worth mentioning.
The story progresses at a relatively good pace, but the character development is pretty much non-existent, which is a shame, because there is potential.
As it stands, unless it's taking an unexpected turn, it's an average "man with money issues who would do anything to provide for his family" story which is refreshing because it's set in Romania, that being the only reason to watch it.
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