DAY 7: ESOTERIC EXPRESSIONS AND OTHER FRUSTRATIONS
Sergio Nicolaescu is arguably the most popular director in Romania, so that his 2004 film Orient Express, is the sole Romanian film at the European Film Festival is significant.
That significance is possibly the greatest aspect of the movie.Suspicion always abounds when a director is the lead character in a film- Woody Allen readily comes to mind- and it gets worse with age. Nicolaescu is lead in Orient Express, playing an old prince who after a wild youth spent squandering the family fortune and breaking the hearts of many women, killing aggrieved males in duels, comes to settle in a snow covered idyllic village. There several women are seduced by his charm in spite of the jealousy and gossip he provokes.
Clearly haunted by his past and intrigued by youth and beauty, the Prince is constantly talking to the ghosts of his past in his castle. Soon a young woman falls in love with him and the greatly immoral prince takes a somewhat moral stand in a series of events that would lead to a startling revelation.
At nearly 2 hours, Orient Express is long and quite tortuous. Nicolaescu is not a great actor though it can be argued that the inescapable stiffness is an intentional makeup of the central character.
It is quite possible there are some underlying concepts that may be missed by the average viewer, but something must be said for a film that does not encourage too many people to wait for its denouement.