• Gareth Crook

Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn (2021) - 2/10

I’m almost a little loathed to review this. It begins with 3 minutes of fairly full on porn, despite this, it’s not about sex. Although I’m not convinced it knows what it’s about. Maybe things are different in Romania, but it’s an uncomfortable way to start a film. Emilia (Katia Pascariu) is a teacher in present day Romania. It’s been shot during the pandemic so everyone’s wearing masks. There’s reason for that awkward opening scene. It’s a sex tape of Emilia and her husband that has been posted online. Putting Emilia in hot water, with her pupils parents and the prestigious school she works at. I’ve never been to Romania, but this paints a very bleak picture. The opening act (it’s split into three titled segments) is largely made up of shots of Emilia wandering around. It’s got a very low budget DIY tone, with long shots capturing the streets rather candidly. Often lingering on the modern decay and not really addressing the issue at the top. It’s clearly trying to make a point about the current Romanian society, director Radu Jude isn’t a fan. Almost everyone depicted is an arsehole at best or misogynistic antisemitic idiot at worst. It is a weird film. Things get even more detached in the second act with a series of damning archive shots all poking distaste of Romanian history, from military to religion. It’s like it’s all of a sudden decided to be an art house documentary. I think the idea is to establish Romanian society as being fractured, uncultured, uneducated and generally pretty stupid. Along with that opening scene, the intention continues to be to shock with needless pornographic snippets used alongside a pretentious narration. As we enter the final act, we’re back with Emilia as she faces the firing squad of parents who decide it’s a great idea for a group screening of Emilia’s extra curricular activities, while she sits there mortified. Here it does take an interesting turn. Emilia attacked, doesn’t back down. Defending herself and her right to a private life. Accepting the unfortunate situation, but pressing the parents on their own responsibilities. It’s a common issue in the world we live in. How does the internet affect our privacy. The things we choose to share and those we don’t. What effect does it have on us, on others, on our children. The scene is simple, but bounces around the whole social construct. It’s not enough to save this as a film though. It’s still a mess. The camera work is terrible. Most of the acting highly questionable and a large portion of the nearly 2 hour duration pretty boring. There’s the nucleus of an interesting idea, but it’s terribly botched and although a title towards the end states this was all intended as a joke, the finale is ridiculous. It’s had some good reviews, but this isn’t one. I hated it.


2/10