Bogdan George Apetri reviews ‘Miracle’ the film

After passing through the Venice Film Festival 2021’s Horizons section, Miracle – Storia di destini crocicro was released in cinemas on October 27, 2018. A name that joins those who are already well-known, in festival environments of the generation of Romanian filmmakers who have been surprising, exciting, and for many years, such as Cristian Munggiu (coscreenwriter of Apetri’s first film), Radu Jude, Cristi Puiu.

Miracle: The plot

Miracol is divided into two chapters. It follows Cristina, a nineteen year-old nun as she escapes her monastery to attend an urgent matter. Cristina takes an unsettling journey through the city to find the man she wants. She returns to her convent in the evening because she has no choice but to go home. But an unanticipated fate awaits her.

The film’s second half is about Marius Preda (a determined forty-year-old officer inspector) who tries to find out what happened. Marius follows Cristina’s path, returning to every place she was, step-by-step. The search for Marius leads to clues and revelations that reveal the mystery behind Cristina’s actions. It may also lead to a miracle.

The circularity of mystery

Cristina’s story abruptly ends unexpectedly. It seemed like the story was heading somewhere else and had other nuances. It was a sudden turn towards a dead-end from which she can’t escape, and that condemns her to darkness. Miracle is not certain or clear. Everything is whispered and suggested. The camera seems to be swirling around the characters, waiting for them to reveal their motives and actions. Like the viewer, they are waiting to discover their past and future. The image is full of mystery and obstructs the gaze of anyone who tries to see it. The film’s middle section is where the protagonist leaves the scene, leaving behind the narrative pole.

Psycho is a story about a protagonist becoming another. The story ends and begins again, just like Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. It is the circular direction and imprint that bring to mind the British director, but it is more than anything. The two acts of Miracle mirror one another, as in a shot or reverse shot. The subject and object swap positions and are looking for a point of convergence that is impossible without reflection in two upside-down worlds. Apetri’s film is characterized by a constant rotary motion, which Apetri uses both in the form as well as the narration. As Marius and Cristina move around, the director follows them closely, building the shot from their faces.

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