Who is the bait and who is the fish?
„Hooked”, the feature of the well-known film director Adrian Sitaru, was received as a paradigm challenger in the Romanian cinema, a movie that turns away from the New Wave’s realism (as represented in films such as “Stuff and Dough” by Cristi Puiu) only to embrace a fantastic register that makes room for subtle and multilayered possibilities of interpretation. The characters also have complex personalities that show their multiple features as they are alternatively lit in accordance to the play of the real-fantastic registers. A film that, through the daring cinematographic techniques used, has a lot to offer.
Director: Adrian Sitaru
Scriptwriters: Adrian Sitaru (based on an idea by Radu Jude)
Cast: Adrian Titieni, Ioana Flora, Maria Dinulescu, Alexandru Georgescu, Sorin Vasilescu, Nicodim Ungureanu
Produced by: Juliette Lepoutre, Marie-Pierre Macia, Adrian Sitaru, Ada Solomon (associate producer)
Cinematography by: Adrian Silișteanu
Film editing by: Adrian Sitaru
Category: feature film
Genre: comedy, drama
Duration: 80 minutes
392,602 – Cinepub viewers
A Sunday picnic seemed like the best way for Mihai and Sweetie to spend some quality time together and take their relationship to a new level. But a series of odd and unexpected events soon turn this idyllic weekend getaway into a very, very strange day.
„Hooked” is a Romanian film different from any other New Wave film, not only contextually speaking, but also aesthetically and trend-wise. The director claims inspiration roots in the American short story aesthetics (Raymond Carver), and the mystery, the suggestions, the references to one plan of the story or another are made just like there, with a technique of advance and withdrawal, of constant teasing. This is what Ana does with Iubi, and with Mihai, separately, when recovering from the car crash, she gets to the lake shore with the two of them. Ana sexually teases both of them, spies on them and then threatens to reveal their secrets, flatters and intrigues them at the same time, apparently aiming to bring them to the edge of patience. What could be her purpose?
Maybe, as she claims, she wants to make them understand that „this is a special day”, and they have a lot to gain in their relationship, or maybe, simply because she enjoys the power of manipulation over the minds of some „laymen”. And there could be more plans and hypotheses.
The actors play impeccably, seeming to have a subtle relationship with the subjective POV camera and its precise and sharp shots, which are enough arguments (apart from the high number of awards won) to have the film included in the Cinepub Romanian films online platform.
“The film is about lies, about appearances and about the deceptions coming from them (one more reason for the story to be told in the first person singular). Adrian Titieni and Ioana Flora (Mihai and Mihaela) are excellent, but the icing on the cake is Maria Dinulescu playing the prostitute (Ana/Violeta): it is a heavily rewarded acting performance, an enthusiasm booster. Don’t miss it!” (Alex Leo Șerban – www.agenda.liternet.ro )
“The film’s style may turn off mainstream audiences but it’s a lively yarn that should thrive at festivals and may catch some enterprising producer’s eye with a remake in mind.” (Ray Bennett – www.hollywoodreporter.com )
“Being a whore is one thing, begging is another…”
“You hit a girl!”
“It’ll be all right!
The fuck it’ll be all right!”
“I’m such an idiot. Sorry, I just want you to be happy. Forgive me.”
“It’s called sport fishing. You catch the fish, then throw it back in the water.
In the what?”
- Venice International Film Festival, Venice Days section – Italy, 2008
- Toronto International Film Festival – Canada, 2008
- BFI London International Film Festival – Great Britain, 2008
- Grand Prix, Bratislava International Film Festival – Slovakia, 2008
- Bronze Horse (Adrian Sitaru), Stockholm International Film Festival – Sweden, 2008
- Golden Alexander (Adrian Sitaru), Thessaloniki Film Festival – Greece, 2008
- Best Film (Adrian Sitaru), Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema – Argentina, 2009
- Jury Prize, Estoril International Film Festival – Portugal, 2008
- Best Actress (Ioana Flora & Maria Dinulescu), Thessaloniki Film Festival – Greece, 2008
- Silver Alexander, Special Jury Award (Adrian Sitaru), Thessaloniki Film Festival – Greece, 2008
- Best Script (Adrian Sitaru), Mons International Festival of Love Films – Belgium, 2009
- Best Actress (Maria Dinulescu), Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema – Argentina, 2009
- Grand Prize (Adrian Sitaru), Ourense Independent Film Festival – Spania, 2009
- New Voices/New Visions Grand Jury Prize (Adrian Sitaru), Palm Springs International Film Festival – U.S.A., 2009
- „Opera Prima” Award, UCIN – Romania, 2009