**WARNING!!! This post contains a review of Orient Express, the movie directed by our very own Romanian director: Sergiu Nicolaescu. It may turn out to be an extensive post so please grab yourself a cup of tea and a warm blanket and Enjoy!**
I tried not to be frightened by all the reviews as I really wanted to see this movie for a very long while - considering that it was released in 2004 that says how long is the waiting list for movies... - so finally I got my hands and eyes upon it last night. Without my amazing husband around, I figured out I would dig in the mushy romantic movies and I bumped into Orient Express. Well it was obvious that I did not have it with subtitles so it was the perfect moment to watch it without Marek picking on me - yes, it is also obvious I did cry and I needed multiple tissues by the end... I dare you to watch this movie until the very end without a teardrop!
At an old age, prince Andrei Morudzi retreats to his castle in Romania, during the two world wars, after having lead an eventful youth. There he is seen upon as a rare bird by the local folk, due to his strange attitude towards life and his exquisit manners, which don't fit in the way of life of the villagers. But, in the end, despite trying to distance himself from the local people, he can't but influence their humble existences.
If you would have lived in Romania then you would know that Sergiu Nicolaescu was a very famous person and he was well respected. If you would ask Romanian people to name you a Romanian regizor they would probably in 99.9% of cases tell you about Sergiu Nicolaescu. He loved also to play in the movies he directed and in this one he has the leading role, as prince Andrei Morudzi. Mr. Nicolaescu always loved to tackle historical dramas and this story has a bit of history in it as all - all with the World War and the prince. I love the fact that in this movie there is not much make-up (you can see that especially on himself, in the closeup you can see every wrinkle and facial expression line on Mr. Nicolaescu) but there are a lot of costumes.
In a way this movie reflects - I believe - the views that Mr. Nicolaescu had over the world. I think he would have loved to make time stop. He would have paused the clock and lived in that period forever. I believe he did a lot of historical dramas just because he wished he lived in that time. He was much more in touch with the past, than reaching toward the future. The movie itself is full of lessons that Mr. Nicolaescu wanted to share to the world. Considering that it is one of his last movies, I believe that he makes this movie as a series of notes for posterity.
There are moments in time in the movie where things lag and fall apart and I would cut some scenes or make some scenes longer, but overall... hey! that is his style and I would not change it. It still made me cry and think of the nature of the human being. It is an aristocratic movie about the higher class that always remains higher, even though stained (by lack of money loss at cards, flirting with women, making other people suicide). The movie is about luxury and about being raised so that you believe you are upper than the mass of people. The movie also shows the battle between the rush of the youngsters for equality VS. the individualism and the arhaic ways of the Prince, with his old fashioned sense of being.
The movie is based upon the novel by Tudor Teodorescu-Braniste and even though I never read it, it made me think about finding it and giving it a go. Some of the lines were just brilliant! Take for example: "How can a man live alone?" Well it is obvious that people judge and there is no moment that passes by in the movie, without people taking a look into his life, gossiping and telling stories as soon as he leaves the room. I love the difference that he makes between The City VS. The CountrySide: The City has 2 characteristics: the noise and the light. The CountrySide has 2 as well: the silence and the darkness... Again the Prince tells at a certain point that "there are people whom you meet, you grow to love them and yet they are never yours" and I must admit I feel the same. Sometimes it makes one sad to think of it :( Further on the topic of love he says that "only simple people think that love brings happiness". The sad part was the fact that the Prince built his life on money and yet he had none now. All was gone. One of the Princes friends says "don't give pearls to pigs" as he is the last bastion of his kind. The Prince was a singular being, the last of his kind. He also says at a certain moment that people are not only different through education and wealth. There is something more fundamental in each of us, something different. And last but not least - in order not to spoil more of the movie, in case you will want to watch it! - I loved when he talked about duels. "Duels do not fix anything else than vanity. Suffering can be healed only through suicide"...
BTW as a small FYI the lovely Miclauseni castle is located closed to Iasi (North-Est Romania) where part of the movie has been shot. And guess what? I never saw it! Shame on myself, right? I should surely put it on the list of things to see; it looks to die for! Well... I guess this is all from my side folks :) Let me know if you manage to see this movie and what you think about it. Also if you went to the cinema and saw something good recently, drop a line :)
The LadyBug In Love With Historical Drama