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thumbnail The Whistlers (2019 Romania)

Comedy, Genre , trackback

Director: Corneliu Porumboiu
Vlad Ivanov, Catrinel Marlon, Rodica Lazar
Duration:    97 mins

We all know film noir to be full of shadows; in Corneliu Porumboiu’s winning take on the old genre, the shade that looms largest is that of Nikolai Ceausescu, whose legacy of seething corruption and institutional fear gives a particular local texture to a story of bad cops, ruthless robbers and a femme fatale called Gilda. The fall guy is Cristi, a Bucharest cop whose commanding officer has realised he is on the take and is trying to trip him up; of course, she has her own racket running. Along with a pile of mattresses stuffed with cash, our hang-dog anti-hero finds himself on the small Canary Island of La Gomera learning the local whistling language, which the gangsters use as a police-resistant code. Poromboiu has always been the funniest of the Romanian new wave directors. Here, clearly revelling in the constraints of genre convention, he delivers pure entertainment.

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