Graduation is available in: Romanian on Netflix USA
Romeo Aldea, a physician living in a small mountain town in Transylvania, has raised his daughter Eliza with the idea that once she turns 18, she will leave to study and live abroad. His plan is close to succeeding. Eliza has won a scholarship to study psychology in the UK. She just has to pass her final exams – a formality for such a good student. On the day before her first written exam, Eliza is assaulted in an attack that could jeopardize her entire future. Now Romeo has to make a decision. There are ways of solving the situation, but none of them using the principles he, as a father, has taught his daughter.
From the director of ‘Beyond the Hills’. I have not seen many Romanian films, but a couple of his films, so I had an anticipation and it fulfilled that. If you are familiar with his works, you will love it too as well. It is an Oscar material like ‘Toni Erdmann’, but Romania had sent a different film. The film had achieved multiple things, including majorly highlighting the social issues and the education system, particularly from the parent’s perspective. But it is basically about a father and his desperate attempts for his daughter for her better future. So it is something like ‘Fathers & Daughter’, but on one particular topic and the on- screen presentation was so realistic without the background score.
Everything revolved around what the title suggested. A father who is professionally a doctor wants to provide a better education for his daughter. While facing a series of vandalism, his family gets a major shock after an unexpected terrible event. It was just before the daughter’s annual exam. So it seems they’re all disturbed by it, but the father is still not giving up on his daughter’s exam, which requires a better score to get into the best university in the world. Apart from that, his other side of the personal and professional life takes some major turns. The film reveals all his struggles while breaking some moral laws.
> ❝Sometimes, in life, it’s the result that counts.❞
The tale was told from the father’s perspective and that character was seen almost in every frame. A good father knows what’s best for his child, but sometimes crossing limits is what they do because of love and care. On the other hand, growing up kids, especially turning eighteen means that’s when they actually begin to meet the real world. So basically they want to lose their parents’ influence in their life as much as possible like when a baby bird starting to stretch its wings. Those stuffs were not prioritised here, but understandable from the developments we witness.
From the social aspect, the corruption and educational demands, that’s especially in the high scoring contest were the deriving plots from the main. The film could have been 10-15 minutes shorter if the father’s professional side of the tale was not covered. It looked unnecessary, but fairly the part of the story when a slice of his life was what this film is about. I think not everybody sees the film’s intention which is definitely not entertainment, nor inspiration, but kind of fact based on the parents.
Yeah, I would have done almost the same as what the father has done in this. But due to some parallel developments in the main story, he had to face extra pressure from his own family. So unexpected way the narration takes the turn towards the final section. That’s disappointing if you had supported the father from the very beginning. But a lesson he had learnt for his approach to deal the affair that he thought is slipping away from his master plan.
Overall, a very good film, something you will learn how some people plan to deal a difficult stage of their life that’s impacted by other surrounding developments. My only, slight disappointment was the crime part of the story which did not meet my expectation, but in most of the case that’s how reality would be. So this is for particularly the drama film fans, because coping with the pace requires a little patience.