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Review: Aurora

Deepening the mystery
By PETER KEOUGH  |  August 23, 2011
3.0 3.0 Stars



Long after such an insight might do any good, Viorel, the mopey, truculent antihero of this second film in Cristi Puiu's "Six Stories from the Outskirts of Bucharest" observes that the justice system does not comprehend the complexity of his relationship to his wife. The film's three preceding hours of long takes, most framed by doors or windows and shot from a distance, only deepen the mystery. As with the first film in his series, The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005), Puiu (who also plays the part of Viorel) shows episodes of mundane banality, elliptical and unexplained, cut by a glimmer of personal or social pathology. Thus Viorel wakes up in the bedroom of a woman whose identity only slowly emerges and then goes about errands of indeterminate purpose; his skulking air, however, casts a sinister shadow even before he picks up two new firing pins for his 12-gauge. Though it doesn't disclose its secrets easily, Aurora rewards patience with revelation.

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