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The Whistlers Left Me Whistling In The Dark

The  Whistlers(Romanian)

Starring  Vlad Ivanov as Cristi, Catrinel Marlon as Gilda 

Directed  by  Corneliu Porumboiu

Rating: **(2 stars)

If I were  you,  I wouldn’t   try to pronounce  the names of the actors , director  and technicians in the  Romanian  film where  the  hero, is a balding over-the-hill  cop with  monstrously ambiguous  moral values who  is invited to   a remote island by the excruciatingly enigmatic Gilda(Cartinel Marlon)   to help her rescue an imprisoned  drug dealer.

At the Spanish island  , the  compromised  cop Cristi  learns  a whistling language of communication. It really doesn’t matter which  spoken language  the  characters speak in.   They all sound like creatures  from an alien planet  who have just discovered the pleasures of being part  of a cryptic  project where  everyone has something to  hide and no one seems  to know what they are hiding, and  from whom.

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There  is this third important  character a  female  cop named  Magda(Rodica Lazar) who steps  out of her office for a  smoke every time  she  wants to indulge in a   corrupt practice.You may want to follow Ms Magda out of her office and right out of  the  film too provided  there are exits to the futile darkness that the Romanian directors spills into the frames  creating a world so  dimly lit, it can’t find  its own centre.And so  dark the characters can’t tell their  mouth from their nether region.

From what I could make out  of Criti(Vlad Ivanov) he is  not very  clear on his head about which side he wants  to be  on. Because  the  good side, the law enforcement agency , is  not so  good after all.As for  the bad side it is as  dark sinister and  uninviting as the mafia has  always  been.At one point a wandering curious filmmaker  strolls into the  mafia hideout. He  is given a two-gun salute  .

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So  let me  get to the  point. There is  no  point to this  exercise in  deep silhouetting  undertaken to give  really  a dark shade to the  noire thriller. In the  cinema  of  Roman Polanski and Alan Pakula you  come across sultry pouty  aggressively sexy mysterious heroines  and  morally confounded extremely masculine investigators who fall for  the  lethal charms  of the  ferociously  seductive femme  fatale.

Remember  Faye Dunaway and  Jack Nicholson  in Chinatown? If the two  had been put in pointless unnecessarily  dark desultory aimless  plot , the result would have been  The Whistlers.

The Whistlers is  the one of the  most pretentiously  dark films I’ve seen  in  recent times. That  is  excusable. But it also an enormously dull  lifeless  film where even a crucial lovemaking sequence  resembles  a seance more than a seduction. And that’s inexcusable.

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