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Cristi (Dragos Bucur) is a young undercover cop who undergoes a crisis of conscience when he is pressured to arrest a teenager who offers hash to classmates. Not wanting to ruin the life of a young man he considers merely irresponsible, Cristi must either allow the arrest to weigh on his conscience, or face censure by his self-serious superior (Vlad Ivanov, of 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days), for whom the word conscience has an entirely different meaning. Porumboiu approaches his story with the exacting patience of a master ironist, culminating in one of the most unexpected comedic payoffs in years an extraordinary dissection of language that affirms his reputation as one of the most exciting new talents in European cinema.
Special Features Include:
-New transfer, enhanced for widescreen viewing
-Optional English subtitles
-Collectible 8-page press booklet
-Original theatrical trailer
Most people know what it means when a movie is described as a police procedural. Action, intrigue, suspense, and the solving of a crime are usually implicit ingredients. But the dryly funny Romanian import Police, Adjective takes the genre into a novel and unexpected realm that is simultaneously mannered, measured, minimalist, and furiously existential. Composed of long, uninterrupted takes with a minimum of dialogue, the structure is about as accurate a depiction of police procedure as is possible in the confines of a feature film, but without any of the standard elements of a crime drama. The criminals are a trio of ordinary teenagers who smoke dope in the schoolyard, and the cop is an unassuming detective named Cristi whose captain wants the ringleader rounded up and sent to prison for a good long time. Cristi has both moral and practical qualms about ruining the boy's life for something so innocuous, but he reluctantly follows orders -- until his conscience reaches a breaking point under his commander's brutal and unwavering orders, that is. Director Corneliu Porumboiu keeps his solid camera trained squarely on process as Cristi conducts the most basic surveillance of the kids, banters with his officemate, has insipid evening conversations with his wife, or clashes with his boss about duty, obligation, law, and ethics. Interspersed are unhurried shots that scroll down handwritten reports that detail his actions in building the case. As innocuous as it all sounds, there's real tension in these protracted scenes of the simplest procedures involved in doing work and living life. Though hardly laugh-out-loud funny, the comic satire implicit in conforming to details with such exactitude is the biggest payoff of Police, Adjective. Cristi's captain is a stickler not only for adherence to the regulations of police work, but also to the literal obedience that the rules of language and grammar dictate. His perverse cruelty comes out in a riveting scene late in the film (and its longest single shot) in which Cristi is forced to look up and read aloud the dictionary definitions of conscience, law, moral, and police, thereby damning himself with the very rules he thought he was abiding by in life. Police, Adjective takes a little time to make its case as both philosophical propaganda and entertainment. But given the proper attention and attitude it succeeds with grammatical precision on both counts. --Ted FrySee all Editorial Reviews
This is an excellent film about moral choices, slow-working bureaucracy, and individual conscience by a talented, intelligent young director. Loved it!Published 17 months ago by MEF
No shots fired, no SWAT teams. Grubby desks, bureaucracy and zero lenience. I would've compared this movie to "The Wire" series. Read morePublished on December 12, 2012 by Eddie O'verthere
I cannot comment on how this movie turns out as I shut it down after 40 minutes, before a lethal attack of ennui drove me into the throes of certain death. Read morePublished on May 25, 2012 by THE KING OF PANGAEA
This is a special film that will certainly put off a large number of main-stream viewers.
It asks that you change the way you view a film - not dramatically, but... Read more