The Whistlers (2019)

  • 2019
  • Feature, Thriller
  • 1h 37m

Vlad Ivanov stars as a world-weary detective in Corneliu Porumboiu’s sundrenched crime caper.

Taking his cues from Hitchcock and American Film Noir, acclaimed Romanian New Wave director Corneliu Porumboiu brings his trademark absurdist humour and eye for social commentary to craft an entertaining take on the classic genre.

Shuttling between the grey skies of Bucharest and the sundrenched Canary Islands, The Whistlers weaves an intricate plot around a money laundering crime gang and a world-weary detective working both sides of the law.

Structured in a series of chapters we meet our players; the gorgeous femme fatal, Gilda (Catrinel Marlon), crime boss Paco (Agustí Villaronga), sly police chief Magda (Rodica Lazar), who orbit around Christi (Vlad Ivanov); reprising a version of the detective he played in Porumboiu’s 2004 film, Police, Adjective. In a recent interview the director said: “when I was starting this script, I was thinking a lot about that character he played in Police, Adjective. He had a certain type of ideology, a cult to power and words. I thought about how would it be to find this character ten years later, because his ideology won’t last forever.”

For fans of his earlier films, The Whistlers may feel somewhat of a departure, mirroring the narrative pace and alluring scenery of a glossy Hollywood film. However, Porumboiu makes this crime caper entirely his own, delivering a sharp commentary on modern society whilst offering a fresh take on a well-worn genre.

READ: Cracking the code: director Corneliu Porumboiu on ‘The Whistlers’ by Dilan Gunawardana, Stories & Ideas, 24 Nov 2020

We spoke to the Romanian New Wave director about language, artistry and his unique take on the film noir genre. Read more


English, Spanish, Romanian




France, Germany, Romania, Sweden


Madman Entertainment

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