A mesmerizing new masterwork from the director of the critically-acclaimed The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, Aurora is a murder mystery turned on its head - where the mystery's not the culprit, but the motive. Inside a non-descript apartment kitchen, a man and a woman discuss the inconsistencies in Little Red Riding Hood, their voices hushed, mindful of waking the little girl sleeping in the next room. Behind a line of abandoned trailers, on the outskirts of Bucharest, the same man waits for something or someone to arrive. At a metallurgical factory, he collects two hand-made firing pins secretly prepared by a coworker. The man's name is Viorel. He is 42 years old, divorced, a father of two young girls, and today he will carry out a plan that will bring order to his world. -- (C) Cinema Guild … More
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Critic Reviews for Aurora
Puiu's special approach to the realist aesthetic ensures that 'Aurora' rings unusually true. Superb stuff.
It's Puiu's talent to transform it all into a highly disturbing portrait - both of an individual and a society.
While Aurora is a formal triumph, it's less resonant than either 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days or The Death of Mr. Lazarescu.
Puiu, who also directed, goes too far in making the movie's violent undertone feel like just one more bit of modern malaise.
Aurora fully explores the time before and after a killer strikes, and it has the cumulative effect of making what passes for a "motive" seem absurdly simplistic.
Define the movies however you want -- escapist bits of fun, illuminations of the human condition, comforts or challenges -- and Aurora would still fail miserably.
Everything that takes place feels so deliberately orchestrated that the seeming meaninglessness of certain actions become charged with, er, "meaning."
It's a masterly film that draws us into a world controlled by unseen forces, but it concludes, intentionally, by compelling (not inviting) us to explain why Viorel acts this way.
It does reward close attention - and its final act comes very close to being worth one of cinema's more epic waits.
This does not have the humanity and accessibility of The Death of Mr Lazarescu, but it certainly has a dark, lowering presence on the screen.
A murder movie languishing in a suicidal stupor. Save some strength to crawl out of the cinema.
At three hours long and deliberately paced throughout, this edgy drama return by Cristi Puiu demands patience.
Another hefty slice of eastern european life - even longer, even slower and even glummer.
It's a fascinating, mesmerizing commentary on our thirst for the sensational...
Though it doesn't disclose its secrets easily, Aurora rewards patience with revelation.
Cristi Puiu's Viorel is about as ambiguous a character as I have ever seen. He does not evoke sympathy since he is a blank, unreadable cipher, but one that fascinates because he is so inscrutable.
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