A crowd pleaser with a vibrant Hollywood vibe to it, which can also meet the high standards of any movie buff.

After debuting with his outstanding feature film One Step Behind the Seraphim (2017), director Daniel Sandu offers us another movie which strongly states that something is changing in Romanian filmmaking. The approach, the style, the cinematography, the music, the editing, everything seems intertwined into a new geometry that reshapes uniquely the audience’s idea of national filmmaking. We are talking about a kind of promised entertainment (this time), about suspense and action, about intense scenes, excellent camerawork and montage, about the score correctly superimposed on each frame, about a natural dialogue and a solid narrative thread and, last but not least, about a convincing lead role. The latter, played by an actor like Adrian Titieni, who has already proved that no role is too difficult to undertake, seems like a winning choice: the role of a father who moves the mountains captivates, especially through the gradual vulnerability of the character.

Mircea Jianu (Adrian Titieni), (probably) a former intelligence officer, past his prime, is informed by the Police that his son and his girlfriend have gone missing on the mountain, while hiking a difficult trail. The father springs into action immediately and, once he arrives in Busteni, near the place of the tragedy, he is confident that he will find his son safe. Although he personally takes part in the search, within the limits of his physical training and age, after a few days of fruitless efforts, Mircea loses confidence in the local mountain rescue unit. However, still confident that his son can be located and rescued in due time, he decides to form his own team to double the efforts of the rescuers and later on, after days and weeks of search without precise results, to continue relentlessly a difficult and risky search, without any chance of success in the middle of the winter and avalanche season. The hostile nature, the mountain and the harsh winter enter into a ferocious and uneven contest with the determination and ambition of a man who systematically refuses to accept the inexorable fate.

The Father Who Moves Mountains (Tata mută munții)
The Father Who Moves Mountains (Tata mută munții)

An honest movie, with a vibrant air of Hollywood to it, although meant to be a crowd pleaser, The Father who Moves Mountains can also meet the high standards of any movie buff. Maybe it’s not meant to become a classic, but it can raise a wide range of topics if we consider that the script is loosely inspired by real events, the tragedy of the story, the strength of a parent willing to give up everything, to make superhuman efforts and to spare neither relationships nor money to recover his son lost on the mountain, alive or dead. One can debate the morality of such an attempt, which could put in danger other human lives, or the promptitude of the authorities in drastic times. But in the end, The Father who Moves Mountains keeps the viewers on the edge of their seats for almost two hours, captivated by a tense and exciting story and gives them the chance to enjoy a well-thought-out, beautifully shoot and cohesive film.

Ovidiu Pop, Blog de film