Călin Peter Netzer is thematically attracted to exploring relationships between age groups, family members and the things they inherit from one another. In his previous 20014 effort, The Child’s Pose, he follows the skirmish between a grown up man who fucked up and his mother who tries to cover up for him, only to make it worse. Handheld emotional mayhem that works to a certain degree. Strong casting and some sharp observation of conflict. Can’t say the same for last year’s Ana, mon amour which is a non-linear love story, going back and forth along the timeline of a couple’s high and low and which, for me, obliterates its credibility from the first 10 minutes, when while meeting the parents of the girl for the first time, the guy is forced to sleep in the same bed with the father of the family, wearing his pyjamas as well. It’s simply not a case of Romanian authenticity, it’s just a bad choice in trying to court it.
And from that point on, it’s downhill for me. The form is one crazy hair day (for which it got a Berlin Bear artistic achievement). Editing rhythm shifting gears according to God knows what rules, peculiar hand-held camera, jump cuts, 180degree rule bending, all at unnerving speed, suggesting, of course, what else! the characters’ mood swings. Hilarious at times: the sex scene - we get to see some sperm flowing freely, wink wink unwanted baby soon to come. The male character’s hair meltdown adds to the phoniness and silliness of it all.
Courage to be appreciated though. It is the films that strive to great extent to achieve crude realism that fuck it up the worse. Or best?