Thursday, March 12, 2015

Déjà Vu [2013]

MPAA (UR would be R)  Fr. Dennis (4 Stars)

IMDb listing
CineEuropa listing listing  review* (A. Gorzo) review*  (I.M. Mares) review* (A. Obretin) review*

Déjà Vu [2013] [IMDb] [CEu] []* (written and directed by Dan Chişu [IMDb] [CEu] []*) is a very clever film from Romania that played recently at the the 2015 - 18th Chicago European Union Film Festival held at the Gene Siskel Film Center here in Chicago.

It's playfully inspired by director Ridley Scott's YouTube-inspired Life in a Day [2011] project in which Scott had asked people all across the world to video record their doings on a specific day, July 24, 2010, to then send the video to Scott and his team, who assembled the often quite poignant film out of the video received.

So the current film tells a "day in the life" story of sorts as well:  After several years of juggling his wife Valeria (played by Mirela Oprisor [IMDb] [CEu] []*) and mistress Tania (played by Ioana Flora [IMDb] []*) some sort of a Romanian (probably media) executive (played by director Dan Chişu [IMDb] [CEu] []* himself) decides _perhaps_ to "finally set things in order."

The film _made entirely_ with a camera mounted to the director's er "some sort of Romanian media executive's" head, BEGINS with the alarm-clock going off at 6 AM by the said Romanian media executive's bed at his (presumably Bucharest) home.  We see his hand reach-out to turn-off the alarm and him, like most of us would do, getting-up and out of bed and heading to the bathroom to relieve himself.  After doing so, he heads down to the kitchen...

... that's where we meet Tania, his mistress of 2-3 years.  It's the first time that she's spent the night at the media executive's home.  Before that they would presumably meet-up at hotels or at her place.  SO ... today is (from Tania's perspective) finally, "different."  But, it's ALSO "different" in ways that are unexpected (and not particularly pleasant) to her ... When _she_ first came down to the kitchen, before he did, she ... ran into / surprised his mother ....

Anyway, they eat breakfast, get dressed for the day ... And "the plan" is for the two of them to drive-out of city to the media exec's / his wife, Valeria's, "other place" by some water (a lake or a river) about an hour-or-two away. 

So they get into the car and drive.  Again, Readers remember that this entire movie is filmed using a camera mounted to the director's (some sort of media executive's) head.  So we view the conversation that ensues in the car from the perspective someone who's driving the car.  And let's face it, it's kind of a tense drive.  The media exec and his mistress, Tania, are going to confront his wife, Valeria, at the media exec/his wife, Valeria's, "other place" an hour-or-two outside of town.  And neither of the two is particularly sure how it's going to go.

Further, since they are heading to the media exec / his wife, Valeria's, "other place," this is a drive that the media exec has done MANY TIMES BEFORE ... with his wife sitting in the passenger seat (rather than, now, with his mistress...).  SO ... as he and his mistress, Tania, are heading over to this place to confront his wife, Valeria, HE INEVITABLY HAS FLASHBACKS _OF MAKING THE SAME JOURNEY_ WITH HIS WIFE, VALERIA, IN OTHER, PERHAPS COLD, BUT ALSO (PERHAPS) "HAPPIER TIMES."

So what happens when they reach "the other place" and confront the Media exec's wife?  I'm not going to tell you ;-) ...

What I do have to say is that this is a GREAT FILM about the messiness of adultery.  A "day in the life" ... yup, one heck of a day ...

* Reasonably good (sense) translations of non-English webpages can be found by viewing them through Google's Chrome browser.

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