Love sick aka Legături bolnăvicioase tells the story of Alexandra and Cristina, two students who fall in love and try to make their relationship work, as Cristina's brother, Sandu, always gets in the way of their happiness. His involvement and role in the girl's life is revealed from the beginning and it changes the story, now having two delicate themes to work on, as the title suggest. The romance between the two girls starts innocently, with shy looks and stollen kisses, and soon transforms into a sweet, full of love connection that only trembles at the sight of Sandu. Cristina is overly protective and weirdly secretive of him, and as much as she loves Alex, she cannot let got of her brother, and that will ultimately come between them.
Overall, the film is not perfect: there are some gaps in the script and some situations and feelings are never properly explained, but sometimes that is better for the story. It keeps a little bit of mystery over the already exposed relationships and makes you think.
BUT there are some wonderful little things that make the movie special.
First of all,the acting in it is superb: I don't know if you will think the same, but to me it looked amazing, as all of the stars perfectly portrayed their characters, displaying a sense of reality and emotion that is hard to transmit- when I say reality, I talk about how a normal Romanian person would act or talk. Their chemistry has palpable and seemed real, especially between the girls, and it was interesting to watch so many legendary Romanian actors in supporting roles: the lady who rents the room for Alex (probably one of my favourite characters- she is the incarnation of the typical over 50 lonely woman living on a pension), the parents, especially Kiki's mother and Alex's father, the taxi driver at the end (famous rapper) and the older woman who travels with Sandu (huge celebrity over here). As for the three main characters, what can I say? Maria Popistasu (you might have seen her in Tuesday, after Christmas, another well received national movie) played Cristina with a carefree, but sensitive spirit, who worries too much about the people around her instead of her own happiness; I liked this character best, although I probably identify myself more with Alex. One of my favourite scenes is when she calls a special person to leave a Happy Birthday message- her voice, the way she talks to it, her bittersweet words that almost erupt with love and longing are just wonderful, as crazy and inappropriate it seems. (you'll understand when you'll see the movie). Ioana Barbu was the perfect Alex to Popistasu's Cristina, showcasing perfectly the sweet, innocent, rather naive character (it was also her debut in acting). Sandu, played by Tudor Chirila, a famous singer in Romania, didn't have enough screen time, but that helped the movie get its much needed mystery- in the end, you still haven't figured him out, and maybe that is for the best, as the core of the story was the relationship between the girls.
Second of all, I loved the cinematography of it and most of the ways Tudor Giurgiu decided to shoot the movie. The first scene is a beautifully set and lighted image of two lovers in an intimate moment, and the score, a melancholic instrumental of a rare Coldplay song perfectly fits it. (actually that instrumental comes along in many parts of the film). I also love the way the director focuses on their hands, as if that small gesture can show us the intensity of their love or their true feelings- and you know what? It works every time.
As I said in the beginning, the pace might be problem for some, but if you like character development stories or films that focus on relationships, you will definitely like this one. I find it to be little bit similar to Weekend, the 2011 British feature, so if you enjoyed that, check out this, as well.
Love sick is not the best Romanian film you can find out there, but it has its magic points, so if you want to discover my national cinema, I wold recommend seeing 432 and this film, for starters.
Tell me: how you ever seen a Romanian film? If YES, which one and how was it? If NOT, would you be interested? Should I continue my Romanian Cinema series?