There's no place like home! Ilie readies the outdoor bath, tending to the fire and embracing the chill in the air while finding solace by the fireplace. Lighting a cigarette from the flames, he indulges in a moment of tranquility. Meanwhile, Stefan rushes in, late for a Skype call with a Guru awaiting him. Having missed a class on breathing and inner peace, Stefan immerses himself in a calculated journey to find balance, successfully navigating every breath. Post-call, he discovers newfound equilibrium in facing the outside world.
"Peace Off!" genuinely caught us by surprise, considering that we know a few things about Stefan Mandachi. We hadn't anticipated his strong acting abilities, and this role allowed us to see him from a fresh perspective. The rapport between Stefan and Ilie (portrayed by Ilie Cimbru) is remarkable, with their interactions generating a comedic effect. Each time Stefan delves into his meditation, the camera shifts to Ilie, standing awkwardly, engrossed in his own affairs and careful not to disrupt. This stillness adds a humorous dimension, providing the short film with significant depth. The conclusion aligns perfectly with the expectations of a brief inner-balance session—an outbreak that can take down whole universes.
Though the script is straightforward, the film's strength lies in its simplicity. Strategic moments of silence amplify subsequent lines, a technique reminiscent of other Eastern European films. Masterfully employed in "Peace Off!", we're sure this approach will resonate with viewers, making it a potential fan-favorite at festivals and screenings.
Review written by Vlad A.G