Wednesday, 7 April 2010


Flying the flag for an exciting new trend in Romanian cinema, Police, Adjective takes its cue from the likes of The Death of Mr. Lazarescu and California Dreamin’, dealing with another aspect of Romanian society with the darkest of humour. Cristi is a young policeman who has been dispatched to deal with a schoolboy who is dealing hash to classmates. Once in pursuit of the boy, Cristi’s undercover mechanisms give way to sympathy, and as he learns about the boy’s zest for life and relative naïveté to the whole situation, he quickly loses grip on his conviction as a law enforcer. The more he is given instruction and advice from senior officers, the more Cristi begins to feel in touch with his inner child, and when the issue of the boy’s arrest arises, he finds the responsibility something of a personal struggle.

Director Corneliu Porumboiu employs long, voyeuristic takes suggestive of stagnation, and to the passive viewer, it would appear that the film never hits a crescendo. Upon closer inspection, Porumboiu’s sophomore feature reveals itself to be a shrewd twist on the comedy of errors. The humour flows effortlessly from Cristi’s dispassionate exchanges with his employers and girlfriend, painting him as a man exhausted by everyone else’s proactivity. Of particular note is the naturalistic acting – much kudos should go to Dragos Bucur in the lead role, as well as Vlad Ivanov, the soulless abortionist from 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days who is almost unrecognisable as Cristi’s stubborn superior.

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