Romeo Aldea (49), a physician living in a small mountain town in Transylvania, has raised his daughter Eliza with the idea that once she turns 18, she will leave to study and live abroad. His plan is close to succeeding - Eliza has won a scholarship to study psychology in the UK. She just has to pass her final exams - a formality for such a good student. On the day before her first written exam, Eliza is assaulted in an attack that could jeopardize her entire future. Now Romeo has to make a decision. There are ways of solving the situation, but none of them using the principles he, as a father, has taught his daughter.Written by
69th Cannes International Film Festival 2016
Eliza, you have to do your best. It'd be a pity to miss this chance. Some important steps in life depend on small things. And some chances shouldn't be wasted. You know, in '91, your Mum and I decided to move back. It was a bad decision. We thought things would change, we thought we'd move mountains. We didn't move anything. I have no regrets, though. At least we tried...
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Complex issues are handled with great care and compassion
When a man's daughter is assaulted the night before her final exams, her future, which he has set up so well, is thrown into question. Graduation is all about the lengths a father is willing to go for his children. Whether motivated by selfish reasons or genuine desire, the father wants nothing more than to get his daughter out of the morally corrupt environment that permeates their town. To accomplish his plans however, he starts to cross lines and partake in the system he openly reproaches. Christian Mungiu tackles these sensitive topics with care and compassion. Using long takes and unobtrusive camera work, Mungiu emphasizes character above all else. Every character is redeemable in some manner, but no one is innocent. Though the ending brings in an unnecessary police investigation that seems to beat the point home, it is redeemed by the haunting final image that gives a lot of disastrous implications about generational connections. As favors and obligations start to stack up, the father becomes entangled in a web of questionable decisions. The question ultimately becomes, "do good reasons make up for bad decisions?"