In Cristi Iftime’s film, Marița is a nickname for an old Dacia, the Romanian national icon, the one in the picture above. Marița is a post-Romanian new wave effort. It borrows the stylistic of the movement: extended one take sequences (I estimate a total of around 30 cuts in the whole film), limited space visual language (depth limited to two planes), the family conflict, the table scene (family gathered around the meal as a beginning point for conflict), the open ending.
A 30-ish year old makes a stop at his father’s house, on the way to see the rest of the family. It’s winter time. The father, separated from the rest of the family and living with a grumpy woman, is a braggadocio, always telling stories about his past love affairs. Almost immediately the film’s script tastes like unbaked bread. Plot points reveal themselves as scaffolding for events to progress: the young man is hitchhiking - it takes a lot of suspension of disbelief to believe that a middle-class-30-yro would do that in the middle of the freezing winter; the father’s girlfriend is so bitchy that the young man and his accompanying friends leave after 10 minutes, triggering the road-trip in the old car. The screws become loose once we get past the 1h mark, when it becomes obvious that the energies opposing are the father’s boasting and the son’s shifting emotions. Or at least they seem to be. Because due to a lack of focus in the construction of the young man’s character and probably to a fear of being too literal on behalf of the director, the story doesn’t play out in any clear way and a certain disconnect between somber tone and the actual lack of gravitas of the dialogues make the air inauthentic. And by saying this I agree that assumed ambiguity is a clear way in itself in cinema.
Anyways, moving pictures are incredibly hard pieces to balance.