The Concert

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Radu Mihaileanu's film was severely dissected by critics,it has been accused by many with the tendency towards melodrama, schematism and gross appeal to cliches. It is undoubtedly true, and the refined movie goers are partly entitled to be weary about the film. It is clear that  the stories whith fate and predestination,retrieving  past secrets and tearfull cometoghethers manipulate without honesty the public's reaction. Mihăileanu's story sometimes uses and abuses  these strategies. He thus manages to concentrate  the most varied audiences, to manipulate the viewers emotions and to make it as such  that spontaneous laughter can fall over an emphatic cry. Of course the audience armed with a critical spirit and cinematic reference  will be more vigilant about these strategies, they will find their motive and moderate  the effects. Yet, with all this or  because of all this it will be left immersed in the other virtues,  which the film beyond its leakage, has a full possession off.



The film manages to portray in an Allegretto  tempo  many humorous and burlesque  interludes, a story that can not possibly leave you indifferent. In rough lines, it would sound like this: An  orchestra that was once the  magnificent, renowned and authentic Balshoi, gathers up for a concert in Paris. Twenty-nine years ago, in Communist Russia after the orchestra conductor, Andrei Filipov, has defied the will of the party, the orchestra was finally abolished and its members were sentenced to ridiculous job functions losing any official contact with music . In the postcommunist Russia not at all cured of it's old habbits, conductor Filipov, while conscientiously  removing dust from the drawers belloning to the theater's director, discovers an invitation to the present Balshoi orchestra to the Paris Chatelet Theatre. Filipov rashly decides to get toghether the member of the orchestra and start an incognito travel to Paris to complete the Tchaikovsky concert, that was brutally ended  by the party 29 years ago.


Mihaileanu frequently resorts to a rhetorical exaggeration like Kusturica,of course with much less originality,but still manages to potentiate the effects that are likely to defy  the sake of some pied-picturesque scenes. The film constantly recycled clichés and stereotypes withought beeing in itself a clishee.The fierce and sharp Russians, the opportunisticskillfull jewish business, the frenchman with an adherence  for the Communists,the Gypsy musician with his raw talent spontaneously gather here in their printed version without any subtilties or smooth contraditions.. The mixture of registers, the  equidistant juxtaposition of high culture with popular culture seems to fail or even fall in triviality and kitsch. Its advantage is that it is not  made  with innocence and it is even apart of the capital stake of the movie. So, beyond any considerations of a hierarchy consisting of ethnic, political or social nature , the talent unites and harmonises the spirits. The true Balshoi orchestra chaotically steps on the stage at Châtelet, beginns with inconsistent and imprecise tunes, but gradually shape up under the spell of euphoria that is able to melt the inequality, the conflicting or inconsistent parts  in a harmonious and sublime whole.


Daniela Duca