In Romanian mythology the Incubus is a handsome demon who bewilders the minds and feelings of the young girls making them yearn for love. He is also considered an erotic semi-divine being, symbolizing all forms of sexuality belonging to the women who crave for sexual pleasure. The Incubus discreetly enters the house of his victim and his main activity is actually a sexual initiation. The Incubus is a well-known figure in almost all the world's mythological lore. In 2012 the last of the Incubi, Zanoni, has retreated in an old mansion taking the form of a mysterious character who 'invites girls on nocturnal motorcycle rides' offering them wonderful moments of passion. One night, Zanoni arrives at the concert of Eliza, a beautiful 22 year old singer. Zanoni and Eliza will fall in love as she is taken on a journey in the fantasy world of the Incubi. She will know herself, learn to face her fears and she will find out the truth about her past. Thus, the fantasy world will merge with the ...Written by
Mihai Manescu & Ovidiu Georgescu
The name of the incubus, Zanoni, may be a reference to the book 'Zanoni' written by Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1842. The plot of the movie is very similar to the book: an immortal falls in love with a singer (opera singer in the book) and has to renounce his immortality. See more »
When I went to this movie I didn't really know what to expect. Romanian movies are usually very bleak affairs and an indie title would be expected to be more so. However the ads I've seen told that it was supposed to be a love story with fantasy elements so I was a bit confused.
The story is quite simple, it's a modern take on the Romanian myth of the 'zburator' (incubus), an immortal half demon half angel that visits girls on the night before their wedding to teach them about LOVE. In this movie, set in the present, he's the last of his kind and falls in love with a mortal. To be with her he has to give up immortality. There is also another theme about the female hero overcoming her fears and living her life as she considers rather than how others would dictate. This would be the gist of the action, however there are quite a lot of esoteric elements sprinkled about that made me think a lot. There are major themes like life/death, taking control vs being passive, good versus evil and how they are present in each of us and make us what we are. Another important thing I've noticed is the idea of initiation and trials the heroin has to go through to overcome her fears and find true love. The main message I've gotten from it is basically: man is a mix of good and evil, we need to overcome our fears and take control of our lives to find true love. Did I mention that the incubus is a BIKER that rides a trike? :)
Now, on to the actual film making: The movie looks quite impressive for an independent Romanian film. Quite frankly I was expecting a home-video Blair-Witch Project kind of thing based on the idea that it's an indie and foreign title. Boy was I ever wrong. They pulled out all the stops and the movie looks quite good. There are only some minimal special effects so people used to American block-busters will be disappointed. However some of the images were brilliantly shot, proper lighting and nice color correction make for a magical atmosphere in the incubus' part of the world. There were some issues with over-exposure I didn't like (maybe they were intentional?) but they were few and far apart. Also they use quite a lot of close-ups of the actors, I wasn't used to them but they do give quite a lot of time to see their eyes and expressions. The art direction was quite nice as well, having a nice contrast between the incubus' mansion and the real world. The trike kind of vehicle he rides is awesome too. The costumes were quite nice for the most part, lots of leather for the main heroes due to the biker theme.
The acting was a good show from most and an interesting mix of well known actors and fresh blood. The main hero Gabriel Dutu looks like a real bad-ass most of the movie and acts the part. The female lead Iulia Verdes is quite pretty and did a decent job for the most part. Zanoni's butler, a former incubus named Manolica, played by Constantin Cojocaru, had some of the best acting in the movie in my opinion despite having a rather small part. Also of note was the villain, Constantin Cotimanis, that played the really funny and dramatic role of a former waiter turned media mogul, scenes with him constantly drew laughs from the audience.
Conclusion: It's quite a fresh take on the classical love story of old. It has really nice production value for an indie film. It's a very straightforward story sprinkled with fantasy and esoteric elements with good acting to bring the message forward. If you're expecting epic special effects, fights and explosions this one is not for you. If you want to see a less American love story in a feel-good atmosphere with esoteric stuff sprinkled on top - don't miss it, you'll like it!
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