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The Guardian - Age of innocence (Lucy Muss)

Lucy Muss reviews We Shall Overcome, Love Sick and The Red Cockatoo at the Berlin film festival

Monday February 20, 2006
Love Sick
In the international pool of films that make waves on the festival circuit, Love Sick will only make a ripple, but it's a clear and sweet one. Similar to Pawlikowski's My Summer of Love, both in its feminine form and female content, the film is also an adaptation from a novel.
Alex and Kiki are best friends, addicted to each other's every dream, challenge and even scent: "You smell heavy, like you've been woken after dreaming for too long." Their love story is captured in poetic, handheld detail akin to the tenderness of Erick Zonca's La Vie Rêvée des Anges, as director Tudor Giurgiu beautifully explores the confusion and delights of young love.
The opening scene delicately introduces what soon becomes a sub-strand of moral ambiguity in the film; the clandestine sexual relationship between Kiki and her brother. Not part of the book's original storyline this relationship was added, the director explains, to "raise the moral stakes", which indeed it does. However, as an unresolved subplot it feels too much like an inserted shock tactic that deserves more attention.
However, such flaws do not conceal the film's charms as both a social and emotional comment on contemporary Romanian life. The dusty interiors of Bucharest reflect stale values, the sweet home-baked cakes purport to a strong sense of tradition, the open idyllic countryside suggests a love of freedom and the girls' unconventional relationship perhaps points to a need for change. Indeed, the film itself can be seen as a coming of age for both the girls, and for Romanian cinema.

{ Romana Language Icon }


Making of