In a collaboration unique in Romania’s burgeoning cinema, Razvan Radulescu (from Romania) and Melissa de Raaf (from the Netherlands) have co-written and directed a simple yet rich story confined to a single day. It dawns for Felicia (Ozana Oancea) with expectations that her sister will drive her to the Bucharest airport for her flight to Amsterdam, where Felicia has lived with her husband and son for years. The sister flakes out, triggering a chain of frustrating complications that conspire to keep Felicia waiting with her excessively protective yet well-intentioned mother (Ileana Cernat) at the airport. Radulescu, who has worked as a writer with Cristi Puiu, Radu Muntean and Cristian Mungiu, says that he and de Raaf’s goal was “to shape the day of Felicia’s departure into a hallmark for her life condition.” Even by the extraordinarily high standard of Romanian film acting, Oancea and Cernat attain rare levels of emotional honesty. —AFI Film Festival
Well, see Bergman`s Autumn Sonata for a change, just to see a really painful depiction of tensed mother-daughter feelings. Maybe this film could be read as a stripped-down, low-key, lo-fi variation on Bergman`s work, but this asymmetry, of pain bulging and bursting out in a single point of the movie, shows and i think it disbalances the construction a bit. On the other hand, this stick-to-reality strategy of film-making abot Romania could appeal more to a non-Romanian audience. I remember asking myself during the film : what would be my reaction if I were Turkish? Would i be more attentive, careful to details, open to the character`s incoherence, gloominess, wish to please or subdue? I mean see it as a part of an entirely different culture. And i think the answer is yes : most of us , Felicia`s fellow citizens, are bored to death with this sticky, senseless, over-repetitive patterns of relationship, hence the tendency to dismiss the film altogether; only because you are glued into the society this films describes, and the replies you hear in it are so stubbornly non-inventive and overused, and people so dull and previsible, and the director does not try to redeem any of the national flaws. Volens, nolens , you feel that the movie talks about you, that you are there , somewhere, maybe the taxi with the 2 women just passed you by and you happen to have a bitchy,grey day. So here is my suggestion : summon all cliches in the world you have about any nationality (say French, Russian, Dutch, etc.) and, assuming that persona , rethink or rewatch the film. See if you don`t discover a whole new complexity of the movie and if it does not trigger an honest compassion and empathy for the drama unveiling in front of your eyes !
It is one of the most boring movies I ever saw. Although the actors played fine their roles and the dialogues and scenes were natural, it looks more like a detailed report of someone's departure and not at all like a movie. While watching it I felt like a guest in some family, and a member of it was leaving, and I was following them everywhere, and heard their conversations, and they couldn't have any secrets in front of me. Actually I was more like Orwell's Big Brother, except for the fact that no one knew I was watching. I felt sorry for Felicia because she almost never smiled and because she looked so old and tired of life.
While watching the movie, sympathizing with Felicia, I could not help of thinking that my mother would identify herself with Felicia's mother. It is a normal day with my parents. Why would people watch it? Maybe their relationship with their parents is different and they will find something new here...