A policeman is intent on freeing a crooked businessman from a prison in Romania. He travels to Gomera, an island in the Canaries, where he must first learn the difficult local dialect, a language which includes hissing and spitting.
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Cristi, a Romanian police officer who is a whistle blower for mafia, is going to La Gomera Island to learn an ancestral whistling language. In Romania he is under police surveillance and by using this coded language he will continue to communicate with the mobsters to get Zsolt out of prison. Zsolt is the only one who knows where 30 millions of euros are hidden.Written by
42 KM FILM
The maturity of a film school is measured not only by masterpieces or films awarded with gold at major festivals, but also by 'average' movies, belonging to popular genres or film niches. If this criterion is correct, then we can consider Corneliu Porumboiu's 'La Gomera' (English title is 'The Whistlers') as one of these maturity films. Porumboiu is one of the best-known directors of the 'new wave' of Romanian cinema, which has captured the attention of audiences and festival juries a decade and a half ago, initially based on a minimalist approach to the present time and the near past. His films made over the last 14 years are characterized by a variety of styles, genres and themes. Very difficult to predict what the next Corneliu Porumboiu film will look like. With 'La Gomera' the Romanian director walks resolutely in the 'film noir' area writing and making a mafia-themed thriller that manages to capture and keep the viewers' attention by giving them a story that is at the same time original and respectful of all the fundamental rules of the genre.
The story of the film describes a very plausible encounter between the world of gangsters in Western Europe and the relatively new categories of criminals and corrupt lawmakers acquired from the Eastern Europe after the Iron Curtain fell. The hero of the film is Cristi (played by Vlad Ivanov), a corrupt Romanian policeman who gets into deep trouble in a drug trafficking and money laundering business with international implications. The maneuvers of the underground world of criminals bring him to a Canary island where he will be forced to learn the whistling language of the locals to communicate in a coded manner, protected by the electronic interceptions of his pursuers. The original combination of action plans gives Porumboiu the opportunity to suggest to the viewers thoughts about our world super-supervised electronically and deprived of privacy, about the relationship between tradition and modernity, between modern and archaic communication languages.
All these are added atop a classic 'film noir' structure in which the bad guys face the very bad guys, and where the inevitable love story adds to the suspense. There is a lot of blood flowing and plenty of bullets are shot to satisfy genre addicts, but what remains in memory is the consistent, elegant style, full of shadows and sombre colors, backed by an exceptional soundtrack, as well as the professional acting of the entire team of actors. Vlad Ivanov, one of the best theater and film actors of the moment in Romania, consolidates with each new role in films made abroad his stature of international star. He is surounded three actresses who have the opportunity to perform three significant and very well-sketched feminine roles: Catrinel Marlon as the girlfriend, Rodica Lazar as the boss, and Julieta Szönyi as the mother. The story flows well, the motivations of the characters become gradually clear and there are also humorous notes, including quotes from masters and colleagues, directors of suspense movies. 'La Gomera' is a film that can satisfy different categories of viewers. Unfortunately the distribution is kind of discrete, in the cinema hall where I saw the film yesterday we were just four spectators (two couples). I can only hope that the popularity of this movie will increase over time, as I believe it deserves.
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