Miracles can mean different things to different people. But essentially we define them as something extraordinary that happens that is not explainable by the natural or scientific world. This of course means that we attribute these miracles to the divine. In director Bogdan George Apetri’s latest film called Miracle, there is a miracle that occurs that will have audiences talking long after the film ends.
Miracle is really two films in one. For the first half of the film you are watching the story of a young, novice nun (Ioana Bugarin) who sneaks out of of the monastery with the help of a friend. Together, they and the nun’s taxi driver brother attend to a personal matter. She spends the day in the city, and after that day she catches a different taxi to take her back home. But she never makes it. The second half of the film follows a detective (Emanuel Parvu) investigating her case so that he may lock away the person responsible for her fate. The clock is ticking however. And if he can’t find the evidence he needs he has to set the suspect free.
Miracle is a slow paced movie, running close to two hours, but a compelling one nonetheless. Some people may have a hard time sitting through the long-winded conversations, mainly surrounding religious beliefs. But there is a point to it all. The portrait of a bleak country full of disgruntled souls may also be a little dark for some people. And there is one scene that can be hard to watch, but the story is well worth it. Bugarin brings an innocence to her determined and emotionally fragile character that makes you hope she finds her way. And Parvu’s frustrated and shockingly violent detective isn’t as one-dimensional as similar characters are in North American cinema. What it comes down to is this, Miracle is a story of the innocent, the driven and the monster and the gray area that can exist between them.
There is no doubt that Miracle is an art-house type of film, which means it may not be for everyone. The pace is deliberate however, as is each word that is spoken. Apetri doesn’t hide anything either, showing you the story as it unfolds, so it’s not a mystery and there is no guessing. It is what it is. It’s the type of film you will get more out of on a second viewing too. You should also watch it with someone, because you are going to want to talk about what it all means later.