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Directed by Serge Ioan Celebidachi | Review by Riya Saha

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]ctave is a film that will make your childhood nostalgia come alive. While watching the film, never once I felt any scene being redundant. The director, Serge Ioan Celebidachi, managed to come with a life-affirming story that celebrates the purity of childhood, friendship, love and the bitter-sweetness of nostalgia. The film presents a very realistic view of the things that you can enjoy in your childhood, your youth days and the life you lead in your old age. The film has the life as it is, minus any over-the-top idealistic relationships or preachy morals. It harps on the simplicity of reality, gently tugging on your heartstrings. The most beautiful relationship that I observed in the film is the friendship between Octave and Spiri. The film gave another great outlook on the relationship where age is not a boundary.
Every single scene delivers the message of love and care. Octave does not feel like a movie all the time; it might as well have been a reality of any family with an aging man and a child helping him remember his childhood. The care of his mother, the seriousness of his dad, and being playful with his siblings is presented really well in this film. Overall, it is a film with tremendous heart — one that made me weep and laugh at the same time. It is also a sharp film, with details, progressive thought and insightful writing.

Through this independent film, the director aims to show a new side of the Romanian film industry. This happened thanks to the cosmopolitan team of European talent both in front of and behind the camera. The project in question is a drama that centers on an aging man as he looks back on definitive moments of his life while considering how his choices have brought him to his present condition. It features Italian cinematographer Blasco Giurato (Cinema Paradiso), Romanian-French composer Vladimir Cosma(The Dinner Game), a Romanian director in Serge Ioan Celebidachi who’s making his Romanian feature debut, and some of Romania’s most famous actors, Marcel Iures (Layer Cake), Andi Vasluianu (Of Snails and Men) and Victor Rebengiuc (Medal of Honor). Its name, like that of the protagonist, is Octave.
While watching the film I felt there is a certain affection that I leave for you to discover. This review is a celebration of detail and craft that the director has presented with this film. The lead character is flawless. Playing a powerful role is not easy, he imbues his character with enough authenticity to steal many a scene and give the narrative its consistency. It is largely for the benefit of the film, the warmth shared by the lead actor and his friend through his old age was fascinating. The child actors were cute and adorable. In fact, the role played by Octave’s mother stuns everyone with her casual body language and her inch-perfect intonation. The mother’s love for her child has been a prime factor in the success of the film. The bonding of mother and son is a demanding part and the film pushes her to give the best.

The direction deserves thumbs up for the aesthetic view of the film and its quality. I felt every single detail was looked into. The paintings were mesmerizing and anyone who loves creativity will fall in love with this film. If you want to see a perfect father-son moment, watching Octave will certainly give you that. Serge Ioan Celebidachi has beautifully brought rhythm to the scenes with the direction. The light and fluid music, the magic of color, the simplicity and expression will enchant you to travel into the memories of your childhood. Octave is a brilliant example of a movie for the independent film industry. With the creative directing skills of Celebidachi and the incredible Marcel Lures as the main character, the movie has successfully portrayed the pure and powerful emotions of an old man, making it one of the loveliest and most touching pictures of recent Romanian cinema.


Riya Saha is a Kolkata based writer, editor, journalist and cinephile. She has completed her masters in Journalism and Mass Communication from Calcutta University and currently working as a freelance journalist. Having a great interest in world cinema made Riya join Human Lab Corporation. She is passionate about setting goals and achieving them. She enjoys reading, writing, traveling, socializing and meeting people. She is also very fond of watching International movies.

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