For Reel

Graduation (2016)
October 23, 2016, 11:19 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Cristian Mungiu
4.5 Stars
graduationIn Graduation, the latest film from director Cristian Mungiu (of the Palme d’Or winning 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days), an essentially well-meaning man’s (Adrian Titieni) actions ultimately spur a chain reaction that puts his daughter (Maria Dragus) in harm’s way and forces him to make a number of moral compromises. Romeo’s desire is to do anything to get his daughter out of Romania—which is typically depicted as bureaucratically corrupt and fatalistic—ironically suggests the consequences of caring only for the results (thereby pitting him on the same moral standing as the place he condemns). Graduation‘s essential lack of resolution is troubling by design, with even simple comeuppances being dismissed from the narrative. The film details the lengths a man will go to make a better life for his daughter and, in the end, it becomes clear that his efforts have only damned him, that is if they’ve done anything at all. Watching the film, it seems as if Mungiu would have thought A Serious Man was too easy on Larry Gopnik.

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