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Translated by: Andreea Barac

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An act of courage: a sparkling comedy

It seems (sic!) that starting with Mircea Danieluc's The Race and Radu Jude's Morning, followed by Stuff and Dough, The Paper Will Be Blue, Home and Aitilop (Ecilop), the Romanians have developed a certain passion for the stories that take place in a car in general and in a cab in particular. Here's another one...

Without the first and the last scene, The Human Torch could definitely have been an excellent play in one act in which the tone is settled by a mirror story telling of two little love affairs. That is not to say that the above mentioned story covers are to be considered futile. On the contrary.

In between the first scene - having the double role of an intro and of a twist (the quarrel of the two characters is a sub-plot to the main story) - and the final scene offering the morale under the guise of false twist but also the natural closure of the circle (the protagonists assume again the main parts), we deal with one of the most flamboyant Romanian comedies, both in terms of dialogue and action, written in the past few years. It is an act of courage in a cinematographic landscape where the genre is an endangered species and comedy is so often a pretext for drama.

Finally, The Human Torch is the fifth winning script in the HBO competition - following Cartier (renamed eventually Periferic; written by Cristian Mungiu, directed by Bogdan Apetri), A Good Day for a Swim (written by Cătălin Mitulescu, directed by Bogdan Mustaţă), Exchange (written by Tudor Voican, directed by Nicolae Mărgineanu), Europolis (written by and directed by Cornel Gheorghiţă) and The Yellow Smilling Face (written by Doru Lupeanu, directed by Constantin Popescu) - which has been turned from a script into a movie.