New Romanian cinema gains further impetus with Corneliu Porumboiu’s cerebral non-thriller “Police, Adjective.” With his 2006 Camera d’Or winner, “12:08 East of Bucharest,” Porumboiu established himself as a witty writer-helmer with a superb ear for dialogue and an interest in the broader ramifications of truth.
His follow-up, about a contempo cop’s unwilling surveillance of a teen suspected of selling pot, takes things further, aiming a laser-sharp intellect and a deeply considered understanding of language at themes of authority and the residue of totalitarianism. Euro and bicoastal arthouse play is assured, though some auds may find the actionless passages taxing.
The deliberately paced opening following teen Victor (Radu Costin) as he’s trailed by undercover cop Cristi (Dragos Bucur, “Boogie”) through crumbling sections of the north-eastern city of Vasliu immediately sets up an unspoken critique of the country’s post-communist stagnation. It’s the inability, or refusal, to move forward, in all aspects of Romanian society, that’s the real subject of the movie.
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