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.
| Original Score: 3/5
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.
| Original Score: 2/5
It's an intellectual wheeze, but too chilly to connect.
Puiu's special approach to the realist aesthetic ensures that 'Aurora' rings unusually true. Superb stuff.
| Original Score: 4/5
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 not the most cheerful film, but it's not a dirge.
| Original Score: A-
It's a fascinating, mesmerizing commentary on our thirst for the sensational...
| Original Score: 2.5/4
It's Puiu's talent to transform it all into a highly disturbing portrait - both of an individual and a society.
| Original Score: 3/4
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.
...if Mr. Lazarescu was swallowed up by bureaucracy on his final journey, "Aurora's" protagonist wades through it on his way to deliver death.
| Original Score: A
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.
| Original Score: B+
Define the movies however you want -- escapist bits of fun, illuminations of the human condition, comforts or challenges -- and Aurora would still fail miserably.
| Original Score: 1/5
"Aurora" proves that Puiu is no one-hit wonder.