TIFF 2021: Our Review of ‘Întregalde’

Posted in TIFF 2021 by - September 16, 2021
TIFF 2021: Our Review of ‘Întregalde’

A Transylvanian forest becomes the setting for Întregalde, a place where three Bucharest-bred aid workers (including Alex Bogdan and Ilona Brezoianu) give out food to needier peoeple in rural areas. Even in those rounds, their prejudices against the people they’re helping start to surface. And those beliefs quickly float on top on their heads because of the antics of an older man, Kente Aron (Luca Sabin). He inadvertently lures the workers deep into the woods but despite of his actions thrusting the film’s unconventional momentum, he’s not central to the film. That designation belongs to the third aid worker, Maria (Maria Popistasu), who recognizes that they have to help Kente. Without them, he freezes to death in a sawmill that workers abandoned years ago.

Întregalde plays with genre, letting its viewers make assumptions about what kind of film we’re seeing since there’s an old man who disappears (and maybe returns) to the woods. This is also one of the few instances when a film doesn’t deliver expectations. But its sleights of hand executes something that we didn’t want but need. It makes a rich text out of what seems like a non-story. It proves that it’s still interesting to plop a camera in front of fictional characters. And that’s because they’ll eventually incriminate themselves. Another smart thing that the film does is that it doesn’t present its characters as super woke. It makes their arcs gradual yet still shocking. Lastly, Întregalde makes audiences laugh at its characters without trying.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch 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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