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Police, Adjective

  • Film
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars
On the evidence of both this and the new film from Cristi Puiu (‘The Death of Mr Lazarescu), whose ‘Aurora’ plays in next month’s London Film Festival, the much-heralded Romanian ‘new wave’ continues to produce some of Europe’s most challenging and experimental work – and rarely without humour. This second film from Corneliu Porumboiu (‘12:08 East of Bucharest’) is a gloomy, realist piece on the surface but the driest of black comedy emerges as it goes on, building to a climactic scene that feels like the solving of a tough (and sometimes hard-going) literary riddle.

Cristi (Dragos Bucur), a small-town junior detective, is ordered to trail three schoolkids and investigate their pot smoking, even though he insists the kids are doing little wrong. This assignment is obviously a grand waste of Cristi’s time (and ours, as we watch him for minutes on end wandering round streets and hanging on street corners). Told in long, testingly protracted takes, punctuated by amusing bursts of chat between Cristi and his wife (about the meaning of pop lyrics) or Cristi and his colleagues (about the meaning of conscience), the film is an upending of the policier genre and a play on the misuse and tyranny of words, which, in the context of the  police force on show, suggests a continuing horror of bureaucracy. Necessarily infuriating but finally very rewarding.
Written by Dave Calhoun

Release Details

  • Rated:12A
  • Release date:Friday 1 October 2010
  • Duration:115 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Corneliu Porumboiu
  • Screenwriter:Corneliu Porumboiu
  • Cast:
    • Dragos Bucur
    • Vlad Ivanov
    • Ion Stoica
    • Irina Saulescu
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