Tuesday, After Christmas begins with Raluca and Paul, post-lovemaking - a scene that is uncomfortable to watch and feels almost voyeuristic in its intimacy. She is young and pretty, he is past his best and beginning to show signs of middle-age spread, but with a gentle, rugged charm. We then catch glimpses of his comfortable existence with Adriana and nine-year-old daughter Mara as they prepare for Christmas - an ordinary but happy marriage, conveyed through short scenes of them in the bathroom together, out shopping, eating an evening meal or on the phone to one another.
When Paul finally tells Adriana that he is in love with another woman, the moment is completely unexpected. In laying bare his characters' inner lives, Mundane cleverly manipulates his audience into feeling their anguish. Oprisor effortlessly conveys Adriana's quiet devastation at her husband's betrayal through minimal words and gestures. Branescu is also superb as a man struggling to make the right decision, never entirely sure of his true motives.
Muntean's Tuesday, After Christmas really catches you unawares - a beautifully executed and well-acted slow-burner of a film that undeniably packs a punch.