A slow-burn mystery couches an implosive portrait of institutional rot. That description sounds incendiary, and Mungiu certainly doesn't hide his feelings about the state of Romania. But his film is also one of deep empathy for those living in a world where personal/political corruption feels like the only answer. No wasted scenes—just a potent hope that the problems of the last generation can be sorted by the next.
GRADUATION is quintessential of the Romanian New Wave in that it deals so directly w/ the kind of blasé workaday corruption which transverses Romanian society as depicted again and again in its contemporary cinema. What makes GRADUATION very strong -- much stronger than BEYOND THE HILLS -- is its marriage of this vision to a residing moral ambiguity. This is not farce nor is it excoriating screed. It is human.
The first half works really nicely as a procedural leading us through a corrupt bureaucracy. I loved seeing the blurred edges of the state sketched out in this way. However, the second half sags under the weight of the overemphasised civics lessons and useless domestic emotions.
Mungiu strays into Cristi Puiu territory and though the treatment is a bit mechanistic by comparison, it is an enthralling film. The main theme, underneath everything else, is the corrosive social effects of corruption and it is notable this film came out just before Romanian people took a militant stand against corruption in politics. It might be a bit inconclusive in the end but Graduation is very good stuff.
Bitter words about Rumanian corruption, and a story of trying to be sincere when facing difficulties - what does sincerity even mean in a corrupt system? Mungiu got the best director prize at Cannes for “Bacalaureat” but I find it his weakest movie since his debut. It’s not focused, the characters not edgy enough, which results in lack of tension. But the depiction of the mechanisms of corruption make it worthwhile.
(3.75) so much i want to say...i think the way he films is a bit confusing but it's also engaging and good. the long takes. one thing i will say is how it looks like (some) scenes are just starting off of his command. i really enjoyed watching it. to see bureaucracy at work in such a personal way.
Effectively examines a seemingly small-scale, specific situation in order to confront the issue of corruption in Romania. However, the understated visual style that brought 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days and Beyond the Hills to life seems to have lost some of its magic here.
Dans ce film sur le lâcher prise, sur la compromission, intime et universelle, Mungiu questionne les fins et les moyens que nous mettons en place pour parvenir à être. Le politique résonne avec le personnel pour dresser un intense conte moral avec une grande économie d'effets. Dommage que ce soit si démonstratif et sans grande émotion.
3.5 It started slow and it ended slow but the slowness got better once the lines of flight were established. Visually is not impressive but the acting is good. My favorite shots were the two broken glass closeups. nevertheless i think it grows on you as the consequences starts unravelling