If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle Image
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Silviu has only two weeks left before his release from a hostile juvenile detention center. But when his mother, who abandoned him long ago, returns to take his younger brother away - a brother Silviu raised like a son – those two weeks become an eternity. While his outcries for help fall onSilviu has only two weeks left before his release from a hostile juvenile detention center. But when his mother, who abandoned him long ago, returns to take his younger brother away - a brother Silviu raised like a son – those two weeks become an eternity. While his outcries for help fall on deaf ears, he finds himself mercilessly taunted and harassed by the other inmates. And just as Silviu's frustration evolves into full-throttled aggression, he is introduced to a beautiful social worker that he can only dream of being close to. Faced with a slew of conflicting emotions and wild with desperation, Silviu is driven to a surprising act of defiance as he makes a last grasp for freedom. (Film Movement)

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jan 10, 2011
    80
    Offers an introduction to the lean-and-mean, social-realist Romanian storytelling style that's built around a charismatic young actor and a familiar genre.
  2. Reviewed by: V.A. Musetto
    Jan 5, 2011
    75
    Whistle is the feature debut of director-writer Florin Serban, who studied at Columbia University and lists among his influences Robert Bresson, Pedro Almodovar, Bruno Dumont and Ken Loach.
  3. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Jan 8, 2011
    75
    Set in a barren juvenile detention center, the movie works as a grueling coming-of-age story, linking it to the likes of "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days," even if it lacks the same lasting appeal.
  4. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Jan 4, 2011
    60
    Despite the faux-realist aesthetic (gritty handheld camerawork; all-natural sound), we never feel like much is at stake, though Pistereanu and Condeescu have an easygoing rapport that makes the quieter moments between them affecting.
  5. Reviewed by: Ed Schied
    Jan 10, 2011
    60
    The accessible story and fast-paced action scenes could draw a good arthouse audience, more than usual for a Romanian film.
  6. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Jan 5, 2011
    60
    As the movie becomes more explosive - and more demanding of its cast - it loses some of the quiet, careful intensity that made Silviu's situation worth attending to in the first place. The seams of the narrative start to show, and by the end you are more aware of the filmmakers' ideas than of the character's life.
  7. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jan 7, 2011
    40
    A steady thrum of anger pervades this Romanian film even in its quietest moments, but the ending and captured-lost-boys setting ultimately fail to surprise.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

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  2. Mixed: 0 out of
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