Sieranevada

2016

Comedy / Drama

12
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 92%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 81%
IMDb Rating 7.4 10 4170

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
September 23, 2019 at 04:18 AM

Director

Cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.47 GB
1280*682
Romanian 2.0
NR
24 fps
2 hr 53 min
P/S 0 / 4
2.68 GB
1920*1024
Romanian 2.0
NR
24 fps
2 hr 53 min
P/S 0 / 7

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by dromasca 8 / 10

end of the wave

With a delay of three years I managed to see Cristi Puiu's 'Sieranevada', a film that I had read and heard much about. Three years are certainly not enough for a 'historical' perspective but they are enough to better place the film in the context of what happened in the Romanian cinema before and after it and to understand the rather heated disputes it has created among critics and viewers. The film is indeed complex but also complicated, interesting but also long, providing many reasons to like it but also a few that can leave viewers from different categories of audience confused or dissatisfied.

The opening scene looks like a quote from the other new wave, the French one. A camera set up at a fixed point shoots for a few minutes a Bucharest intersection, with the chaos, agglomeration and noise that we know. The characters of the film, which we do not distinguish, are still silhouettes among the many that make up this hubbub. We'll follow two of them in a car that drives them for several minutes to the apartment where most of the action of the film is taking place. There they join the family reunited for the commemoration meal (following a regional traditional custom!) of the head of the family, who had died 40 days ago. For two hours, almost in real time, we will witness the ceremony, discussions, conflicts of a family large enough to include some of the characters known to those living in Romania today - the physician who abandoned his job for a more profitable trade , a young supporter of conspiracy theories, the older generation of those economically affected by the transition who try to adapt with little success to the new realities, a nostalgic for the communist regime, the young woman with dubious connections and habits including suspected drug use, the priest who is late due to a busy schedule because the religious business is going full on, couples in crisis or marriages already broken up. A beautifully constructed mosaic, a diverse and tormented world. And yet, they will also meet at future occasions or holidays, because family and friendship ties, together with adherence to a religious tradition that is not forgotten or abandoned, are the only links that somehow hold together the Romanian social fabric. These and maybe also the humor.

It is worth watching how Cristi Puiu and his cinematographer Barbu Balasoiu work with the camera. Sometimes the frame is fixed, most often mobile, it follows the point of view of one character or another, giving the feeling of a claustrophobic maze in the 3 or 4 room apartment where the action takes place. It is a sensation programmatically induced to the spectators, when we are outside the apartment we are dealing with the same chaos, with the same maze of human relations in crisis, only that the spaces are more open, but the atmosphere is frozen. The semi-darkness predominates and makes the film not easy to watch, also the sound capture is not optimal, but I think that the reason does not lie in technical issues but in the decisions of the director. Acting is superb, mentioning any name will do an injustice to all the other. The film captivated me and I did not feel or resempt the length at any time. But I can understand those who did not like the duration, or had difficulties in tracking the image or voices, because Cristi Puiu did not aim the aesthetics but wanted to convey ideas and sensations. Foreign viewers will have difficulties understanding many nuances, and those in Romania who are tired or exasperated by the mirrors that some of the contemporary directors put in front of them also have reasons to be upset. As much as I liked the movie, I believe that the minimalist formula has exhausted its resources and has certainly lost the elements of surprise and novelty. That's why I'm not surprised that the movie was ignored in the Cannes palmares. In 2005, Cristi Puiu made one of the first remarkable films of the new wave of Romanian cinema - 'The Death of Mr. Lazarescu'. 'Sieranevada' made in 2016 may be one of the last outstanding films of this wave.

Reviewed by mihai-mirosanu 10 / 10

Only for eastern europeans, I guess

I don't know why but I found this movie really good. It resembled to the the high school book I had to read in my time, Enigma Otiliei or like Morometii book & screen play. Like all Romanian movies, it has that drama-parody of being a post-communist member; like all the good post-revolution movies. This movie is from the same category. But! And there's a huge "But". This movie has a really tangled and well-structured story line. The characters are really complex. I loved the "detailed" small-talks that took place alongside the main story. Also, like many Romanian families, you have that huge abundance of relatives that you have to deal with. You have that "It's family!" saying that your mother told you every time you couldn't stand your cousin when you were little. Also, all the actors seem to play their parts really well. I've seen almost all the good Romanian movies and I can say that these are some hardcore actors. They fit so well with their characters and their performance is almost perfect. Yes, it has the downsides that all Romanian movies have: the static scenes and the bad sound quality. You have to have subtitle otherwise, most of the time, if you are Romanian, you won't understand a word. All of this being said, enjoy! It's just a pure South-Eastern Week-end story event!

Reviewed by tributarystu 8 / 10

A Winter Wonderland

Although Romanian cinema has been 'mainstreaming' of late, this year has brought some old-school/new-school movies received to widespread critical acclaim, like Cristian Mungiu's Bacalaureat (Graduation) or Bogdan Mirica's Caini (Dogs). Both pictures, alongside Puiu's Sieranevada, were premiered at Cannes and between them they picked up the Un Certain Regard prize (Dogs) and the best director prize (Mungiu). Interestingly enough, Sieranevada will be Romania's push for the Academy Awards Foreign Film category, in spite of being the most demanding of the three movies.

At almost three hours' breadth, preponderantly shot inside an apartment of fifty square meters and with more than ten characters coming together for a forty-day memorial service since the passing of the family's patriarch, it amounts to a real-time experience of the event. There isn't a lot of narrative to go about: we start with the oldest son, Lary, and his wife, Laura, dropping off some shopping and organizing the evening for their child, before setting off to the family apartment, where everyone else is gathering. In spite of being late, most guests arrive after them, until the apartment is overflowing with a heterogeneous, inter-generational group of people and their many opinions. The event takes place just around the Charlie Hebdo shooting, which sets the stage for a prolonged conspiracy theory discussion about 9/11. But seemingly countless topics are sprung to life, whether in the bedroom (the story of an abusive husband), in the kitchen (communism versus monarchy versus religion), in the small office (the memorial service traditions), the dining room (the convergence point for most discussions) or even the tight hallway (an inebriated stranger dropping in), from where we constantly pivot. We only escape the apartment once and, really, it makes you wish you were back inside, after a vicious public scene caused by a ridiculous triviality.

And so it goes on for most of its runtime, brimming with family tension, personal frustrations and everyday minutia. If anything, Sieranevada has no actual climax, but it elevates smalltalk to an art form, masterfully managing an engrossing and complex conversational ebb and flow between characters you struggle to familiarize yourself with. It will take quite a while to get to grips with who is who and how everyone is related, which is part of the reason why the movie is so demanding, requiring your attention throughout. But if you stay tough, you'll figuratively be eating dinner with them by the end, as a member of this daunting family event.

Puiu creates a claustrophobic atmosphere within an oppressive, environment, whether inside or outside the apartment. To some degree, the viewer becomes attached to Lary, who leads us through the movie and mostly stays above the bickering and the conflicting undercurrents. He is a stoic figure and creates a sense of being the only 'normal' person in the room for most of the time, the adjudicator, in this fresco of the harrowing micro- and macrocosms of present-day Romanian society. The backdrop of the memorial service is decisive, because it sets the expectations of a sombre tone, yet the ensuing moments are anything but sombre. In essence, this contrast between excessive formalism and improvisational realism is the defining conflict of Sieranevada. It is also the cause for so much strife and malcontent in Romania, as we fail to either commit or compromise, feeding the urban anxiety of big- city life.

Still, this is not a movie for any time of day or any state of mind. The conversational authenticity is fascinating, but it wears you down, just like when you're invited to a reunion with a bunch of strangers and sit silently in the corner. It makes you want to shout out, but you are too foreign to do so. The nearly 180 minutes it stretches over makes it hard to keep the momentum going at all times, with the last quarter suffering the most because of it. And with all the arising themes, you will need at least some understanding of Romanian clichés and history to get on board quickly.

Overall, however, I feel it is worth the time, because Sieranevada feels true. It's a bit of a nightmare, sure, but it also manages to find and weave its story with quality fabric, highlighting meaningful contrasts between society, family and the individual and their 'forced' cohabitation. And it is ostensibly a universal story about the inner workings of family life, a hardcore version of movies like Margot at the Wedding or August: Osage County. With any luck, you will also share in Lary's laughter at the end.

Read more IMDb reviews

4 Comments

Be the first to leave a comment