The Trea­sure

THE TREA­SURE, satire, not rated, in Ro­ma­nian with sub­ti­tles, The Screen, 3 Chiles

Pasatiempo - - PASATIEMPO -

The Trea­sure is fes­ti­val ma­te­rial (Cannes gave it the Prix un Cer­tain Tal­ent). It’s a wry, gen­tle Ro­ma­nian satire that takes a sim­ple story and spins it out over an hour and a half, some­times with a barely dis­cernible pulse. But there’s enough life to keep a pa­tient au­di­ence en­gaged, and there are some in­trigu­ing twists at the end to send that au­di­ence home with some­thing to talk about.

Costi (played by Toma Cuzin, an ac­tor with the face of a sen­si­tive prize fighter) is a quiet man with an in­ner sense of ad­ven­ture. He lives in a spare Bucharest apart­ment with his wife and six-year-old son Alin (played by the ac­tor’s wife and son, Cristina and Ni­codim Toma). He works at a drab desk in a life­less of­fice, but in his Wal­ter Mitty soul he’s Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves. One evening, as he is read­ing to Alin from a Robin Hood sto­ry­book, his neigh­bor Adrian (Adrian Pur­carescu) stops by, hop­ing to bor­row some money. Costi is hard up him­self and turns him down. But Adrian re­turns later with a propo­si­tion.

There is a leg­end, Adrian tells Costi, that his grand­fa­ther buried some trea­sure in the back­yard of his house in a coun­try vil­lage years ago, when the com­mu­nists came into power. He pro­poses they go in to­gether on a search for the trea­sure. To do that they’ll need a metal de­tec­tor. If Costi will front the money for the de­tec­tor (and some­one who knows how to use it), Adrian will split their find­ings with him. There’s some­thing a lit­tle shifty about Adrian, but the ro­man­tic in Costi’s soul can’t re­sist the lure of buried trea­sure. He goes AWOL from work to look into the hir­ing of the metal de­tec­tor and makes a deal with an em­ployee (Cor­neliu Cozmei) of the com­pany to boot­leg his ser­vices and equip­ment on a Satur­day at a cut rate when the boss isn’t look­ing.

The three men set off for the grand­fa­ther’s vil­lage to hunt and dig for the trea­sure. And things hap­pen. Buried along the way are nuggets of Ro­ma­nian his­tory and lit­tle life lessons, such as the one Costi teaches Alin about deal­ing with a school­yard bully and the one he him­self learns when he tries to tell the truth to his boss.

The Trea­sure started out as a doc­u­men­tary pro­ject for its di­rec­tor, Cor­neliu Po­rum­boiu ( 12:08 East of Bucharest) and his friend Pur­carescu, a fel­low di­rec­tor, about the lat­ter’s fi­nan­cial prob­lems in try­ing to fin­ish a film. That didn’t work out, but Pur­carescu men­tioned the ru­mor of his grand­fa­ther’s buried trea­sure, and a story be­gan to take shape. It takes a lot of dig­ging, but there’s some­thing valu­able to be found. — Jonathan Richards

Think­ing out­side the box: Toma Cuzin and Adrian Pur­carescu

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.