Breathing new life into the Romanian New Wave, Corneliu Porumboiu crafts a rollicking genre movie set in sun-soaked Spain, where the best laid plans of a bent cop hinge on learning a secret local whistling dialect.
“With his entertaining noir The Whistlers, a polished mashup of genre motifs that suggests what might happen if the Ocean’s 11 gang assembled on the Canary Islands… [Porumboiu] has made a bonafide commercial movie.
Middle-aged police inspector Cristi (Vlad Ivanov…) arrives on the island of La Gomera, where he intends to get a corrupt businessman out of prison. In order to do that, however, he must first master the whistling language of the island, which criminals have used to communicate for generations… There’s the potential for a big score, the threat of police officers closing in, and even a love story… Before long, Cristi has been sat down by femme fatale Gilda (Catrinel Marlon, [a] dynamic screen presence…) for a lesson on the whistling language… Gilda… wields her sex appeal and shooting skills with equal determination as she draws Cristi into a plan to steal some hidden loot while keeping her full agenda a secret.
The Whistlers could be ripe for an English-language remake… but that possibility carries a touch of irony, since [the film] is already a covert remake… It revisits the energy and wit of heist movies before it, as well as the filmmaker’s own… sophistication [of] his previous works, and revitalizes both traditions in the process.” — Eric Kohn, Indiewire
Director/Screenplay: Corneliu Porumboiu
In Romanian, English and Spanish, with English subtitles
Tickets are available online through Ticketek, from the front desk at MTG or the box office at the Napier Municipal Theatre. Door sales will also be available at the MTG Century Theatre one hour prior to the screening.
Rating: R16 - Restricted to persons 16 years and over.
Presented by: New Zealand International Film Festival.