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Review: Police, Adjective

Splendidly perverse
By GERALD PEARY  |  January 20, 2010
3.5 3.5 Stars

Interview: Corneliu Porumboiu. By Peter Keough.

Down these mean Romanian streets, in the nowhere town of Vaslui, walks a young plainclothes policeman, Cristi (Dragos Bucur), who seems more reasonable, more compassionate, than his stern, by-the-book colleagues. He complains about the absurdity and cruelty of his latest assignment — he's to tail a high-school student who's been accused of smoking hashish, with the idea of arresting the boy and putting him in jail for a few years.

Much of Corneliu Porumboiu's follow-up to 12:08 East of Bucharest is taken up with Cristi's nonsense surveillance, which — in the most deliberately paced, extreme long-shot way — somehow builds and bubbles with tension. But there's even greater excitement in the scenes back at the police station, where Cristi gets embroiled in a fatal linguistic debate with Anghelache, his bull-headed, authoritarian Mad Hatter of a captain, who's given a splendidly perverse portrayal by Vlad Ivanov, the abortionist creep of Cristian Mungiu's 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.

  Topics: Reviews , Culture and Lifestyle, Language and Linguistics, Police,  More more >
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