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The ViewHamilton Review

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Review byMatthew Turner14/01/2009

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 103 mins

Superbly acted, sharply observed and impressively directed Romanian drama, though it drags a little in the early stages.

What's it all about?
Directed by Radu Muntean, Boogie stars Dragos Bucur as thirtysomething Bogdan (aka Boogie), who's holidaying in the Romanian seaside resort of Neptune with his pregnant wife Smaranda (Anamaria Marinca, from 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) and his four-year-old son Adi (Vlad Muntean).

When Boogie unexpectedly bumps into old friends Penescu (Mimi Branescu) and Iordache (Adrian Vancica), he joins them for a night of nostalgic drinking, flirting and general carousing, much to Smaranda's annoyance.

The Good
Essentially, Boogie is about the pitfalls of nostalgia and the importance of leaving your old life behind. The performances are excellent, particularly from lead actor Bucur, who's in almost every frame and carries the film nicely, despite not being a particularly sympathetic character.

There's also strong support from Anamaria Marinca, who's terrific in the argument scene and in the film's final sequence, and from Roxana Iancu as Ramona, a young prostitute picked up by Iordache.

The Great
The script perfectly captures the drunken banter and bravado of the three friends and their attempts to recapture their glory days are entirely believable. That said, the early stages of the film drag considerably, as it's basically like being sober and being stuck listening to three drunken strangers.

The film picks up in the second half, as Boogie goes back to his hotel room, has an argument about commitment with Smaranda and then angrily goes out to rejoin his friends, with all three men going back to Iordache and Penescu's hotel room with Ramona. Director Radu Muntean somehow manages to make these scenes feel exciting, suspenseful (will Boogie cheat on Smaranda?), funny and desperately sad all at the same time.

Worth seeing?
In short, Boogie is a sharply observed film about growing up that saves a powerful emotional punch for its perfect final scene. Recommended.

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Content updated: 23/01/2018 01:22

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