Vlad Ivanov stars as a world-weary detective in Corneliu Porumboiu’s sundrenched crime caper.
An elegant and stylishly crafted piece of entertainment.
Taking his cues from Hitchcock and American Film Noir, acclaimed Romanian New Wave director Corneliu Porumboiu brings his trademark absurdist humour and eye for social commentary to craft an entertaining take on the classic genre.
Shuttling between the grey skies of Bucharest and the sun-drenched Canary Islands, The Whistlers weaves an intricate plot around a money laundering crime gang and a world-weary detective working both sides of the law.
Structured in a series of chapters we meet our players; the gorgeous femme fatal, Gilda (Catrinel Marlon), crime boss Paco (Agustí Villaronga), sly police chief Magda (Rodica Lazar), who orbit around Christi (Vlad Ivanov); reprising a version of the detective he played in Porumboiu's 2004 film, Police, Adjective. In a recent interview the director said: “when I was starting this script, I was thinking a lot about that character he played in Police, Adjective. He had a certain type of ideology, a cult to power and words. I thought about how would it be to find this character ten years later, because his ideology won’t last forever.”
For fans of his earlier films, The Whistlers may feel somewhat of a departure, mirroring the narrative pace and alluring scenery of a glossy Hollywood film. However, Porumboiu makes this crime caper entirely his own, delivering a sharp commentary on modern society whilst offering a fresh take on a well-worn genre.
READ: The Politics of Genre: An Interview with Corneliu Porumboiu
Alonso Aguilar, Notebook, MUBI, February 2020
READ: Cracking the Code: Corneliu Porumboiu
Jordan Cronk, Film Comment, August 2019
WATCH: Corneliu Porumboiu on the Language of The Whistlers and Playing with Genre
Film at Lincoln Center, February 2020
READ: Corneliu Porumboiu on his Romanian neo-noir thriller, The Whistlers
Nick Chen, Dazed, May 2020
Contains a strong sex scene, high impact violence, moderate nudity and mild drug references. Viewers under the age of 15 must be supervised by a parent or legal guardian,.
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