Beyond the Hills [Dupa Dealuri] Movie Review

0
0

With this viscerally involving drama, acclaimed Romanian filmmaker Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) tells another strikingly original story of women caught between old and new world beliefs. And what makes the film so striking is Mungiu's ability to let us identify so closely with people with whom we have nothing in common on the surface.

Far outside the nearest town, an isolated convent tries to maintain life as it would have been lived centuries earlier: there's no electricity and water comes from a well, but the orthodox priest (Andriuta), mother superior (Tapalaga) and nuns all get on with their daily chores. Then one nun, Voichita (Stratan), has a visit from Alina (Flutur), who grew with her in the town orphanage but moved to Germany after they turned 18. Alina is shocked by Voichita's superstition-ruled life in the convent and wants her to come back to Germany with her. But the other nuns think that Alina's mood swings are a sign of demonic possession.

The film is so realistically shot and acted that we feel like we're right there in the muddy convent with them all, shivering at the chill as winter closes in. Their priorities might be simplicity and spirituality, but with their isolationistic worldview, the nuns are also terrified of anything new and different, resorting to ancient rituals that sometimes make this feel like a horror movie. The actors play all of this in a way that's raw and often unnervingly earthy.

Intriguingly, this isn't just a film about the clash between old-world faith and modern-day ideas. It's much more complicated than that, exploring social issues like underfunded health care and the legacy of child abuse. And of course the perilous actions of a group facing someone they see as a dangerous interloper. Indeed, this is bold, challenging filmmaking that's sometimes indulgent (the middle section feels repetitive and over-long) and often a bit too provocative. But the final act is intensely dramatic and deeply disturbing. And there aren't many films that so effectively take us away from our world, then return us with a lot to think about. 

Rich Cline

Cast & Crew

Director : Cristian Mungiu

Producer : Cristian Mungiu

Starring : Cosmina Stratan, Cristina Flutur, Valeriu Andriuta, Dana Tapalaga, Catalina Harabagiu, Gina Tandura, Vica Agache, Nora Covali

0
0

Comments

Beyond the Hills [Dupa Dealuri] Rating

" Excellent "

Rating: 12, 2012

Advertisement

Editors Recommendations

Mary J. Blige Reveals How She Stayed Relevant for 25 Years

Fresh from being named the most successful R&B artist of all time by Billboard...

Mary J. Blige Reveals How She Stayed Relevant for 25 Years

American Music Award Winner Sam Smith: My Music Is My Diary

Having already won a string of MOBO Awards and a Brit alongside the buzz...

American Music Award Winner Sam Smith: My Music Is My Diary

The Steve Jobs Biopic Is Back On! Thanks To Universal Pictures

Less than a week ago the much talked about Steve Jobs biopic looked as...

The Steve Jobs Biopic Is Back On! Thanks To Universal Pictures

Rita Ora Stays Cool About 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Role

It's clear that Rita Ora has got a lot on her plate at the moment, with...

Rita Ora Stays Cool About 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Role

Breaking Bad Alumni Michelle MacLaren Will Direct Gal Gadot In 2017's 'Wonder Woman' Movie

After weeks of speculation Michelle MacLaren has been confirmed as the...

Breaking Bad Alumni Michelle MacLaren Will Direct Gal Gadot In 2017's 'Wonder Woman' Movie

Beyoncé - 7/11 - Video

Beyonce dances in her pants in the video for her current single '7/11'! The track features on her 2013 multi-Platinum...

Beyoncé - 7/11 Video

Star Wars Spin-Off Movie Could Focus On Bounty Hunters

It's a big week for Star Wars. The first trailer for The Force Awakens drops on Friday...

Star Wars Spin-Off Movie Could Focus On Bounty Hunters

Christoph Waltz to Play Classic Villain Ernst Blofeld (w/Cat) in Bond 24

Two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz is expected to play the classic villain...

Christoph Waltz to Play Classic Villain Ernst Blofeld (w/Cat) in Bond 24

Oscar Isaac Cast as Chief Villain in 'X-Men: Apocalypse'

Oscar Isaac, the actor who rose to prominence after strong showings in Drive and...

Oscar Isaac Cast as Chief Villain in 'X-Men: Apocalypse'
Advertisement