End of Innocence: Our Review of ‘Metronom’

Posted in Theatrical by - February 24, 2023
End of Innocence: Our Review of ‘Metronom’

Metronom has the right amount of sepia tone to transport its viewers back onto the past, a(n un) surprisingly prurient past. It should not surprise us that the past has its moments of prurience, but the film shows enough of that. Here we see teenagers talk about sex, have sex, but since this is 1970s Romania, it also shows those teenagers writing anti-Communist letters. The film’s main curious teen is Ana (Mara Bugarin) who walks out of her parents to go to a party. There, she runs into Sorin (Serban Lazarovici), a teen boy who breaks up with her because he’s leaving for Germany.

Metronom divides itself into three acts, the first one taking place in a party. The film is perfect for those viewers who blocked their high school years. It reminds us of what it’s like to have a social life as teenagers. Obviously though, it shows a Iron Curtain era Romanian spin on it. Of course, this has its sex scenes. But instead of those scenes feeling obligatory, the film imbues those scenes with the kind of emotion that we don’t expect from awkward young people. There’s also a sense of permanence. Although thankfully, the film competently pulls that security blanket that Ana and the other teens think they have.

Consequences come after actions. But young people behind the Iron Curtain have more to worry about that someone revealing their sex lives to the public. Listening to banned radio stations and writing anti-Communist letters have grave punishments. And Metronom spends its second act with the teens in a police station. Playing one of the officers is Vlad Ivanov, who expectedly brings a delicate side to playing an intimidating cop. Both he and Bugarin complement what may be the film’s most interesting part. There, the cop wants something from Ana even after she confesses her crime.

Alexandru Belc writes these characters and sets them up to what can possibly be an explosive third act. What happens isn’t necessarily a failure but a slight fizzle. Ana doesn’t spend a long time in the station. There is still this ambiguity if she’s an every girl or if some details of her family life separates her from the others. Although in fairness, pushing the action to the background, if not offscreen, adds a subtlety to the proceedings. There were times when oppressive times make everything worse for people who want to be free.

Watch Metronom at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

  • Release Date: 2/24/2023
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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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