Home > Feature reviews & previews > If I want to whistle I whistle (Premiere in Paris)

If I want to whistle I whistle (Premiere in Paris)

Wednesday 11 August 2010, by Abla Kandalaft

The protagonist of this film is mild-mannered eighteen year-old prison inmate Silviu. Just before he is due to be released, his mother tells him that she plans to take his younger brother with her and go abroad. Although he only has fifteen days to go, Silviu can not wait that long to, as he sees it, rescue his brother from his mother’s incompetent upbringing and prevent him from going down the same road as him. The film starts of like many social realism-kitchen sink dramas in which the viewer is usually compelled to warm to the down on his luck protagonist and wish him all the best as he reintegrates society.
Without giving too much away the film takes a frankly unexpected turn. Some scenes, especially during the first half, are a little lengthy as we are introduced to the characters and the prison routine. It ambles along with no obvious direction. To be fair though, whereas it might seem clumsy at first, this allows the changes of rythm throughout the film to seem all the more dramatic.
The plot is fairly run-of-the-mill but the choice of characters, the rythm and the attention to detail give it a very original feel.
This is supported by a very good cast, almost exclusively made up of inmates except for the two main characters, played by non-professional actors a la Ken Loach.

See Q and A with co-writer and producer Catalin Mitulescu in Q and As section

Dir: Florin Serban, 2010

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