Oh hey, another corruption centered movie coming from the eastern bloc, what are the chances? But seriously speaking, you wouldn’t be that far off if you described this to be a bit like a Romanian version of the Firm only with none of the intrigue, well thought out thriller elements or good writing involved. Well okay, it’s actually been too long for me to remember if the Firm is an appropriate comparison and whether or not it actually had any good writing, etc. (note to self: queue up the Firm on Netflix) but you get my drift. I was actually very interested about this movie initially, because I pictured it to be more of a psychologically exhausting, emotional toll taking, into the rabbit hole type exploration of how devious corruption is. Basically a more kafkaesque and metaphysical version of what the Fool turned out to be, but that couldn’t be farther away from the truth.
What’s frustrating is that I quite enjoyed the actors and the way the movie was shot. It genuinely looks very well made, like there was real talent behind the camera and I really enjoyed most of the performances in it. But the story left me completely cold. It’s meant to be this super intense and compelling political thriller, but it never seems to quite get there. The ingredients are there but it never really manages to build the right type of serious gravitas for the story before going into the tinfoil paranoid frenzy phase, so it ends up being unintentionally comical when the main character begins to rip out electrical devices one after another at his aunt’s apartment. It’s also too long in its running time. They have over two hours to play with, but most of it seems to be spent on entirely superfluous, stretched out scenes that add little to no tension or proper intrigue to the story, resulting in a ton of screen time that’s flat out boring to watch.
I was so fed up with the movie by the end that I was actually rolling my eyes a little when the end credits started detailing how the past 120 minutes were in fact a fictionalized account of a real life event, and then I started to feel bad because I was basically ridiculing what seems to have really have happen. Yeah, so…. Bad movie, sad real real life story.