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378 Ratings

One Floor Below

Un etaj mai jos

Directed by Radu Muntean
Romania, France, 2015


After being the sole unfortunate witness of a domestic quarrel that ends up in a murder, Patrascu finds himself at odds with two very close neighbors: one is the bizarre murderer, the other one his very own conscience.

Our take

A murder is hidden behind the quotidian tapestry of everyday life in Romanian New Wave director Radu Muntean’s subtle and observant drama, which premiered in Cannes. A man tries to follow his routine while a death in his building quietly simmers his world in a mix of guilt, suspicion, and secrecy.

One Floor Below Directed by Radu Muntean
It always feels as if something will burst onto the scene from just outside (or one floor below) the shot. At the heart of this minimalist thriller lie some serious questions about the nature of happiness—namely, is it nothing more than the avoidance or denial of unhappiness? Muntean doesn’t offer easy answers, nor does he condescend to his characters. Sandu’s bliss, however questionable, never seems like the product of mere ignorance.
March 18, 2016
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Of all of the great filmmakers who formed the Romanian New Wave, Muntean is perhaps my favorite. He has found an understated, seemingly effortless technique for combining the personal and the political in a way that illuminates both… With One Floor Below, we gain insight into the effects of the police state on the Romanian people and the still-yawning gulf of misunderstanding that lingers.
March 07, 2016
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The subtle suspense builds as Patrascu and Vali test each other to see who will crack first. One Floor Below is a slow-burn character study that benefits greatly from Muntean’s naturalist style.
December 10, 2015
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