A minuciously realist portrait of the suffocating impact of inaction and silence in the face of a moral crisis. Corban’s masterclass in economic expressiveness and almost imperceptible telegraphy of internal conflict is amazing, as is Muntean’s careful escalation of tension through the use of quiet mundane observation. Still, the screenplay is quite inconsequential and the characters are strangely under-realized.
While in my opinion not his best work, i found the movie to be a true piece of real life story - the kind Romanian new wave cinema is so good at. The long scenes shot with the smallest detail allow the audience to get into the story, and try to get into the head of the main character. We are voyeurs and the tension is truly there, reminding of Hitchocock's "Rear window".
This is some crisp, slow-burn Geroges Simenon shit. Scrupulous. This lead: Teodor Corban. Total everyman, total gravitas. I love these Romanian films for the way they deal so bemusedly in bureaucracy, post-communist institutionality, and authority flouting. This will appeal to fans of Chabrol and Tavernier.
Marketed as Romania's Rear Window, this is true only if Hitchcock had followed Jimmy Stewart around a Car Registration company through endless scene after endless scene and he had not so much witnessed a murder as heard about one and the killer not so much come after him as been passive agressive. Not entirely without interest but needs to be damned with the faintest of praise.