Friday, September 19, 2014


Cinema 2, Shang CineplexI

First of all, I'd like to say I'm thankful for the annual run of Cine Europa for where else and how else would I be able to watch films from far flung European countries?

It is always fascinating and interesting to see films set in a foreign land as they convey the life and culture of its inhabitants and more often than not also essay sentiments which can either be totally alien or universally felt, no matter what part of the globe you inhabit.

For instance, this Romanian film dramatizes with good measure a mother's profound love for her son. Never mind that the son is a 34 year old good for nothing guy who runs over a child during a tragic car accident. Never mind that he has an estranged relationship with his mother Cornelia, a wealthy architect/interior designer who no doubt has a lot of connections and is willing to do anything to keep him from going to prison. 

Early on, the director goes to great lengths to establish that Cornelia is a power house in society. Her 60th birthday bash is attended by experts in various fields as well as the powerful hierarchy in local politics. It also shows her as being overbearing when it comes to meddling in the affairs of her son. Even though, they have a strained relationship, she asks the housekeeper snooping questions about her son's household. 

These details are neatly presented in long, theatrical scenes which is ably sustained by the lead actress portraying Cornelia. Luminita Gheorghiu gives a captivating performance as the determined mother willing to secure her son's innocence yet at the same time her overpowering nature smothers and paints her as a pitiable irritant that doesn't know when to back off. 

A pure acting filled movie devoid of any fancy background music (which can sometimes be annoying) - it can have the essence of a play but in this case it isn't boring to watch (I'm not saying that plays are boring, mind you!) and it echoes an authentic slice of deep humanity that can either fill you with warmth or with contempt.

Either way, it feels good!

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