I must admit it. I love watching movies. I do not have the flair of a movie critic, and I tend to put movies into 'I liked it or I did not like it' categories. In the past few years, Romanian cinematography has found itself on a rising trend. Personally, I started paying attention to new Romanian movies ever since the release of the extraordinary movie 'The Silent Wedding' directed by Horațiu Mălăele. Around me there are disapproving voices regarding 'the Romanian movies that only convey images and stories about communism and put us, Romanians, in an unflattering light'. I do have a different opinion about Romanian movies. Every single one of the new-wave Romanian movies brings something new with it. I reckon we should be a little bit open to the idea of the Romanian cinematography and try to see beyond our prejudice.
'One Step behind the Seraphim' caught my attention due to its title, but also due to its trailer. In spite of the central subject of the movie, that may scare away puritans or terrify religious people which might consider it a blasphemy to watch the movie, the spectators are charmed with a freshness of the script and also receive a thought to ponder upon while at home. The actors' performance is brilliant and the action of the movie lays siege to the spectators, keeping them breathless until the end of the film. Gabriel, the main character, enters an orthodox college, wanting to become a priest. He will soon discover that life within this college has many other aspects than he would have initially expected. His belief in the sanctity of this profession is highly shaken up by the people in the college board. Friendship seems to remain the only refuge for the young seminarian, and the initial purpose of his presence there fades away. Beautiful metaphors ennoble the movie. For me, the scene in the village where Gabriel is sent for practice is the most beautiful of them all. Also, just as charming is the surprise at the end of the movie.
Should you be afraid that the central subject of the movie might bore you, I'd recommend you get past this fear and dare to go and watch the movie. 'One Step Behind the Seraphim' will not let you down. I can assure you!