15 October 2019 | groucho-nc
La Gomera a.k.a. "The Whistlers" is a fun Romanian neo-noir borrowing suspense tropes from James Cain, Robert Siodmak and Jules Dassin. The premise is a cop (no unreliable voice overs here) who had to learn the idiom of the whistling language for communicating with people living in interstitial spaces inside and outside of the law. Offbeat, at times hilarious in a deadpan way and rife with truly beautiful mise en scène, the film is a deconstructed tribute to this specific and particular film genre but operates outside of it. All the characters are vividly drawn, the supporting ones carry out the one-dimensionality of their roles with a certain lived-in freshness. The use of music was also very tasteful and deliberately operatic as counterpoint to the life-and-death situations, quirkily told. Corneliu Porumboiu seems to be having fun directing this story -- it shows and I for one was swept by the story and storytelling.