Graduation (Bacalaureat) – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCJCDF4h8Zg Overview/ Review (with Spoilers) Community Rating: 0.00% (0) – No Community Ratings Submitted (Add Yours Below) After his daughter is assaulted before a series of exams which will determine the trajectory of her life, her father makes the type of decisions which could risk his reputation and all the work his daughter has done….


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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCJCDF4h8Zg

Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)


Community Rating: 0.00% (0) - No Community Ratings Submitted (Add Yours Below)


After his daughter is assaulted before a series of exams which will determine the trajectory of her life, her father makes the type of decisions which could risk his reputation and all the work his daughter has done.

Noted Actor(s)

Romeo (Adrian Titieni) | Eliza (Maria-Victoria Dragus)

Characters & Storyline

From the way Dr. Romeo paints Romania, you could understand why he would want his daughter Eliza to go to school as far away as the UK. He makes it seem riddled with corruption and criminals roaming the streets, a place he should have never returned to but he thought he could change it. So with all that in mind, he is willing to do whatever it takes so when Eliza takes her final exams, her pending scholarship to a prestigious UK university will be paid for and guaranteed. However, the world he fears the corruption of gets to her before she can escape.

Highlights

For The Sake of the Children vs. The Sake of the Country

One of the things I found interesting within this movie, though sadly isn’t a strong focus, is the idea of whether it is best to send your children to a foreign country to learn and plant roots vs. them perhaps getting a foreign education and returning home with that knowledge. The reason this was of interest is because Romeo really paints Romania as a terrible place. Yet his mother asks, why would you push her to leave and never return? If girls like her don’t return, what hopes are there for the country to become better? An idea which, with Donald Trump soon to be the President of the USA, is an interesting one. For many have threatened, though likely not have followed through, to immigrate to different countries to avoid the consequences of his presidency. Yet, relating to this movie, if those who seem capable of creating change or at least crafting hope leave and never return, what does that mean for a country’s future?

This topic, unfortunately, is mentioned only a handful of times and isn’t made anything which most may find noteworthy. However, in a sea of one mundane moment to the next, it was perhaps the one intriguing thought this movie presented.

Criticism

From The Assault, Affair, and Corruption, Everything Is Mundane

It’s very weird when a person is assaulted, borderline raped, there is an affair in a movie, and there is a slew of corruption and even an investigation into it, yet there isn’t one thing which can be considered exciting. Each character, and perhaps the story itself, almost seems like it is downplaying all of these events. The assault isn’t treated as something huge, just a hindrance to Eliza getting the grades she needs to guarantee her getting into university. The affair plot is all but accepted and with neither woman involved happy, nor you understanding how and why they fell in love with Romeo, again there isn’t something to really get and keep your attention.

Leaving the political corruption. As Romeo tries to figure out a way to give his daughter an edge, he deals with a customs agent, introduced by a police chief, who wants a liver for a favor. Leading to the test administrator being involved and while this all may be a minor scandal, a doctor pushing for an official to get a liver to help his daughter get high marks on a test, everything is handled without a hint of sensationalism, enthusiasm, or anything to snag your attention. Which if this movie was simply an hour, maybe even an hour and a half, that would be unfortunate. But with it being two hours long and none of these usually interesting or at least devastating to watch topics being of interest, that is a damn shame.

On The Fence

There Aren’t Any Bad Performances, Per se

It’s kind of weird to say in a movie so dull there aren’t bad performances. To me, I’m just so used to someone taking the lead, being passionate, conniving, or even comical. Yet, like Loving, in some ways, no one tries to step forward and stand out. For even if Romeo has the most scenes, the writing and performance doesn’t make him seem like what you’d expect from a lead actor. If anything, he more so seems like he is part of an ensemble and is just taking on more of the movie’s focus due to one of the other actors being sick, having schedule conflicts, or simply being unreliable.

Overall: Negative (Skip It)

As noted, across many a review, passionate performances, troubled or worrisome childhoods, comedic moments, that is what I live for. That, nine times out of ten, is what excites me no matter if it is a book, movie, TV show, video game, or a theatrical production. Yet, despite this movie having many elements of what usually leads to good performances and an entertaining experience, it falls short. It falls off a cliff actually. However, it doesn’t necessarily seem bad. It is just that the movie takes a path not often tread and the lack of emotion, someone with charisma, and no one who really snags you makes it hard to be faithful to a two-hour movie. So, while I want to say this is something which is Mixed, I have to give it a negative rating.


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