Home Reviews Review: The Whistlers (La Gomera)

Review: The Whistlers (La Gomera)

(L-R) Catrinel Marlon, Vlad Ivanov, Agustí Villaronga, and Antonio Buíl star in Magnolia Pictures' THE WHISTLERS

When it comes to entertainment, very few things are better than a high-level thriller. That’s one reason I’m always intrigued by the idea of watching movies like The Whistlers. Sure, they don’t always succeed, but when they do, they’re likely to not only entertain you, but they tend to linger in your mind as you look back on all of the little things that were included.

The Whistlers focuses on Cristi (Vlad Ivanov), a police inspector in Bucharest who plays both sides of the law. He’s been doing this for years now, but his most recent journey outside of the law may bring him to the point of no return. And after a recent heist where he was trained in a rare whistling language, he finds himself playing a high stakes game where he must navigate through corruption, deception, and the truly treacherous nature of those who surround him.

With the help of title cards, the movie is cut into separate sections. This is done in order to introduce the various characters that are going to be important to these specific segments. This is not an unusual feature to have in a film, but it’s used a bit differently here. In most cases when this is utilized, it’s done so early on as a way to let us know who the characters are or to highlight new chapters. In The Whistlers, It introduces the characters and sometimes shows us a familiar part of the story from a different perspective.

Taking everything into account, I ended up being fine with this approach, but I expected to see a more conventional style take over at some point. While I waited for that to occur, I started to realize that this wasn’t going to happen. Using this style of filmmaking will be detrimental to some viewers as it may make it hard to keep up. I say that because some of this is given to us in the form of flashbacks while others are not. This may be a bit odd at first, but you may adjust to it.

After I figured out what was happening and got used to it, the experience as a whole improved. Although presenting things in this manner was a bit confusing at first, you’ll find that it all begins to connect over time. There are some scenes where they introduce a character without much context, but later, these same characters are brought back into the film when introducing someone else. When that happens, things start to click and make what we’re getting more intriguing.

I think making things more stylish and intriguing was the main reason behind presenting the movie the way they did. Filming it in a conventional way with proper chronological order may have given this movie a feel that would likely prevent it from standing out. While tricky, going about it the way they did also allows for more surprises. The only thing is that you have to pay attention to everything that you’re getting. If not, you could find yourself lost.

Because of how it’s structured, The Whistlers turned out to be the type of movie that I immediately wanted to watch again. It’s a solid little movie on its own, but it may have you wondering just how much you may have missed. In reality, you probably didn’t miss much since it’s actually a simple story. It’s just told in a way that’s somewhat complex. By the time it reaches its conclusion, you’ll know all the players, their motives, and why almost no one here can truly be fully trusted.

Rating: No Rating

Director: Corneliu Porumboiu

Screenwriter: Corneliu Porumboiu

Vlad Ivanov
Catrinel Marlon
Rodica Lazar
Antonio Buíl
Agustí Villaronga
Sabin Tambrea
Julieta Szönyi
Andrei Ciopec

Film Length: 97 minutes

Release Date: February 28, 2020 (U.S.)

Distributor: Magnolia Pictures


  • 6.5/10
    Score - 6.5/10
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