I can’t call this a review because I will admit that I cannot give a coherent plot line to this Rumanian film about crooks and cops and an ancient whistling language developed for sending messages across hills and valleys in the Canary Islands. I got that info from Joe Morgenstern’s review in the WSJ. He must have learned that from a helpful press release along with some other information that allowed him to sketch a thin line of action sufficient to find a “witty riff on Hitchcock” and a “surreal flow between reality and movie tropes.”
You will be able to recognize bad guys with guns and knives and stolen money, a nude sexy damsel working with them, a double-agent cop, his beautiful aging mother, his very pretty female boss, plus assorted other characters who drift into frame with or without motivation One of these is an American film-maker presumably scouting for locations. This may be a Rumanian wink understood only by fans of the director Corneliu Porumboiu - try saying that in English.
One of the things I find essential for knowing whether a movie is good, bad or both is the ability to understand what is happening. In this case, speaking Rumanian might help a bit, but it would never explain how the people who learned to communicate by whistling would ever be able to convey the message that “cristi is in the Cornaline Hospital in Room 437″ or “When you recover and get out of the hospital, meet me in Singapore in a year.” I know how hard it would be to express those messages in pig Latin so just try whistling those with your fingers in your mouth, your tongue depressed and the rest of you totally bewildered. Puleez!!!
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