4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
An impressive splash of Romanian new wave,
This review is from: Child's Pose [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
'Child's Pose' is essentially a sort of family thriller centring on a powerful exploration of matriarchal control (see Amazon's listing for plot outline). It is not a particularly easy film to watch: it is dialogue heavy, even more noticeable for those of us (the majority) completely dependent on the subtitles and therefore requiring a particular level of concentration; the visuals are subdued in colour, contain little action and have a strongly improvisatory feel to them. For example, the takes are often quite long: the director frequently rejects the seamlessness of shot/reverse shot editing in which much dialogue is filmed in mainstream cinema, for rapid panning between the protagonists, and this often lacks the smoothness many will expect. (This is definitely NOT for hand-held camera - "Was the cameraman drunk?" - phobics who believe that such a style is merely a sign of technical incompetence. It isn't here, in my opinion, but a realist-aesthetic choice which many will hate.)
In keeping with the realist agenda, the drama is untheatrical in style, quite subtly nuanced and dependent on acting rather than tricksy editing, smart camera angles and emotional nudges from musical scoring. And what acting it is, with Luminita Gheorghiu delivering a stunning performance as the matriarch determined to 'protect' her son, with or without his consent and by any means whatsoever. But just as the style of the film avoids easy audience lures, so the characters are lacking in obvious audience appeal: added to which, no one emerges particularly well or is especially likeable. And the world the characters inhabit shows scant regard for justice and is fuelled by power and selfishness.
I enjoyed it and will look out for the work of Netzer and Gheorghiu in future, but really couldn't recommend it to most of my chums who can't do with this kind of movie. Hollywood it ain't.