October 16, 2021

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‘Blue Moon’ Review: A Rowdy Slab of Romanian Realism

3 min read

An incomplete, eye-catching debut feature of Romanian actor-director Alina Grigor, “Blue Moon” is named for a song, though you might not expect: a somewhat naughty local lullaby, which is sung late at one stage when no hope of rest is long. He left his cowardly hero. Still, it’s impossible to get to the movie without Rogers and Hart’s lonely-heart value running through your head যা which, accidentally or otherwise, turns out to be an effective bit of misdirection. The more time we spend with 22-year-old Irina (Iona Chitu), the more it becomes clear that what she is missing is not someone’s love for her or her care: what she really, really needs should be more than five minutes at a time. You have to be alone for a long time.

It has been said to be easier than acting as a simple dysfunctional family drama, with lots of fights through hateful screaming matches, unreasonable fights of violence and even an overturned dinner table. Whenever Irina tries to escape from the noise, she follows him like a dust storm. Gregor manages to smooth out this symphony of physical and mental disorder: the film’s perseverance goes under your skin, which won it a top award at the recently concluded San Sebastian Film Festival, and it will be considered by school distributors in broad waves. But even at 855 minutes, it’s a tiring watch, somewhat overcrank and overplocked towards the end of its running time, and much more dependent on Chitu’s great performance to guide us through the patches of descriptive confusion and anarchy.

“Blue Moon” effectively announces its melody to the audience through an opening scene that shocks Irina sleeplessly: waking up with a thud and her loose-lipped sister Vicky (Ilinka Neksu), she is driven straight to a normal day of family strife. Irina and Vicky live and work in a rural mountain owned by their extended family, and their older cousins ​​Sergei (Mirsia Silaghi) and Liviu (Mirsia Postelniku), both run by a strict, abusive taskmaster. Since their parents divorced, their father has moved to London, while their mother has apparently come out of life completely, leaving their daughters at the mercy of Sergio and Levi. Irina’s dream of attending university brought her into the patriarchal tug-of-war between her father, inviting her to join him in London, and her cousins, who aren’t above the emotional blackmail of holding on to her free labor. He just wants to escape to Bucharest – just a few hours away by car, although at his disadvantage it could be the other side of the world.

It is partly this persuasion that leads Irina to a bad consultation with Tudor (Emil Mandanak), an elderly, married actor from Bucharest, drunk at a party, after a suspiciously consensual hookup. Tudor’s exploitation of the younger woman leads to intense intimacy rather than advice, a way that Gregor’s sharp, disciplined script rejects expectations. Presumably the enmity between the sisters and their talented cousins, which provokes at least many similar scenes of hotheaded clashes between them, with Levi’s hair-trigger mood, in particular, is often activated for common dramatic words and towards the end of anger. , All these growing conflicts turn the barrel into a slight inconsistency, while sometimes it is difficult to find a troubled family tree. In particular, a sub-plot involving Sergio and his wife’s efforts to adopt his wife’s child seems to be an external element of a story that is not short of drama.

But Vlad Ivanov, the head of the Romanian new wave from the sharp-faced, live-wire feel of Gregor’s scene-building feel and a confident skill-alert to push his actors, has acted against the type – in exciting, unsafe areas. He similarly has a wandering, restless camera and a keen formal order of an eye (and ear) for a strange local detail: the inappropriate wooden farm gong on which Irina often vents her frustrations becomes a defining element of filmmaking the movement of the story. There’s a lot in “Blue Moon” to anticipate Gregor’s efforts, even if it occasionally disappoints us and inspires too much like his brilliant hero.

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