Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cum Mi-am Petrecut Sfârşitul Lumii (The Way I Spend the End of the World)

In my opinion this Catalin Mitulescu film does not fit the new Romanian cinema group of movies that recently have been released as does not have the outstanding “edge” that characterizes those films that truly look and feel different to cinema from elsewhere in the world. This movie looks and feels like most European movies, which does not mean is bad; it means that the style, the storytelling and most cinematic specs are the usual ones found in European movies.

Set in the last year of Ceausescu’s dictatorship tells about the daily life, which goes on under any circumstances, of an ordinary family with a father, a mother and two children, Eva (Doroteea Petre) a very attractive 17 years old and 7 years old brother Lalalilu (Timotei Duma). Eva has a secret dream she shares only with her brother: escaping from Romania and traveling the world. Lalalilu is devastated at the idea of losing his sister and with his best friends from school, he devises a secret plan to kill the dictator so that Eva can stay and live in a free country. Obviously the climax of the story is the day that Ceausescu’s leaves the country.

This is a charming, serene, slow paced and quite engaging story and film, but what makes it extraordinary is the outstanding performance and screen presence of Doroteea Petre that plays Eva. Even when Lalalilu is adorable, Petre’s Eva absolutely steals the movie and you will be captivated and mesmerized since the first time she appears on the screen.

Can’t say that I’m disappointed as I was expecting a movie similar to the other fabulous Romanian movies I have seen lately, but definitively it is a different kind of movie similar to many others and somehow I imagine that had a much better budget than the others, as production values are on the high side. The film was premiered in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2006 Cannes where Doroteea Petre won the Best Actress Award of the section. Also the film won accolades at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.

This is a movie I do recommend to those that enjoy European style movies with superb performance by an attractive lead character.


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