George Pistereanu debuts as Silviu, an 18-year-old who has had a rough life filled with violence. He's finishing his time in a juvenile detention center and trying to stay out of trouble. However, when his younger brother visits with news that their mother has returned to Romania, Silviu begins to lose his grip.
"If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle" is directed by Florin Serban, another talented member of the exciting Romanian New Wave of moviemakers. Like other recent Romanian offerings, the focus is on telling a small, realistic story. Silviu is an intriguing character; the audience is likely to be attracted to his motivations while also repelled by his crudeness and actions. The plot is a bit predictable, but the rawness of the acting and film-making keeps things interesting. The movie was deservedly selected as the official Romanian entry for the 2010 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, although it did not make the final cut. At the 2010 Berlin Film festival, it also received the Jury Grand Prix, which is the second largest award at the festival.