The Child's Pose (2013)

4/5

Poziţia Copilului

Roumania; Călin Petru Netzer

 

Parental Guidance - Brief Strong Language

 

 

Cornelia (Luminiţa Ghiorghiu) has always dreamt of having a fulfilling relationship with her only son, but as Barbu (Bogdan Dumitrache) grew older, something in their relationship went terribly awry. But Cornelia does not seem to awaken to the gaping breach widening between them, not even when he brutally lashes out at her. When Barbu runs over a child on the freeway, at over 150 km/h, instantly killing him, she sets out with a fierce and blind determination to save him from prison.

 
A mother’s love is forever. It is unconditional, absolute, fierce and certainly blinder than the most passionate of romantic loves. It is also suffocating and traumatizing when the heart is not ready – or willing – to accept this overwhelming wave of affection. Barbu, manifestly, is not ready. We catch fleeting glimpses of his personal life and his arid emotional landscape: a failing marriage, a fluctuating desire to have children of his own and be part of something, followed by pangs of crippling indecisions (often articulated in violent outbursts). Dumitrache’s heavy, lumpy frame and quasi-mute performance conveys to perfection the character’s emotional and moral limbo, his every pores exuding angst and stifled, tortured pride.  The film unfolds in minute, sharp strokes, which boil down to a gloomy, silent and atmospheric film, each frame burdened by the oppressive stillness of tragedy. With stylistic flourishes kept to a deliberate minimum, The Child’s Pose oscillates between Italian neorealism and naturalism, but finds room for a bitter, yet rich social satire of a society gangrened by corruption.


In creating a complete, enveloping sense of time and place, Netzer anchored his reversed oedipal tragedy into a palpable, stifling and all-too-recognizable reality. The ensemble may at time seem to linger and meander purposelessly, but this is daring, forceful filmmaking. 

 

 

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