Autor: Variety Data: 1978-04-18
Bucharest, April 18.
A Romaniafilm Production, Group One, Bucharest; world rights, Romaniafilm, Bucharest. Features entire cast. Directed by Mircea Daneliuc. Screenplay, Beno Merovici, Daneliuc; camera (color), Florin Mihailescu; music, Lucian Metianu; sets, Filip Dumitru, Florin Gabrea. Reviewed at Romaniafilm Screening Room, Bucharest, April 17, '78. Running time: 103 MINS.
Cast: Ştefan Iordache (Matei Olaru), Ioana Craciunescu, Costel Constantin, Mircea Albulescu, Paul Lavric, Mircea Daneliuc, Zaharia Volbea, Constantin Dinulescu, Dem Niculescu, Elena Bog, Dinu Ianculescu.
An action thriller with political overtones, Mircea Daneliucţs "Special Edition" focuses on the trouble-some days of 1939, when news-paper journalism was not exactly a profession to be desired. Events and milieu make for a fiction document of the times, although it would be difficult for an outsider to grasp everything thatţs going on. Daneliuc is a hot young helmer to keep an eye on and this is a step in the right direction, which should win him more favor among his sup-porters at home and abroad.
Itţs a "street" film. An honest but politically naive journalist is stopped by a scene on a corner that troubles him — the mistreatment of a woman by a ruffian — and he foolishly steps in to help, whereby the girl escapes. It turns out the girl is suspected of being a Communist agent, the bullies are policemen in the employ of the reactionary government, and he is told to find her again or forfeit his own freedom. Half suspected by the Bucharest police of belonging to the Communist Underground, his political conscience gradually awakens in the dangerous process of ducking parties on both sides of the fence.
The cops-and-robbers games through the streets of Bucharest are entertaining and enough to carry the film, but an added touch is the heroţs battle-scarred face (police brutality) and segs possibly inspired by Yank thrillers. The main character, Matei, is comical in tracking down the missing girl with a femme companion who seems to go along just for the fun. The destruction of the liberal news-paper office by the Iron Guard (Romanian fascists) underscores the perils of dissent even further: from this point midway in the film the story takes off. The end leads to a lonely death on the outskirts of town as pursuing forces close in on the enlightened reported who now knows too much.
Lensing and thesps are plus factors to boost picţs chances on fest circuit. With "Special Edition" and "The Long Drive," Daneliuc has quickly risen to the top ranks of New Romanian Cinema. —Holl.