One Floor Below (2015)

Impression: It’s a story about what an ordinary guy does when he hears something he wasn’t supposed to, and how he deals with his conscience and outside pressures. And even though, during the Q&A, the director said he was not so much interested in society but what goes on in his protagonist’s head, I think the society he lives in very much influences the protagonist’s ideas of right and wrong and leads to his (in)actions. The way he relates to his neighbors, the job he has, the way he relates to people he encounters at that job, all of those can be read as either the result of the internal struggles he is going through because of this one event, or maybe, all these external interactions have influenced his thinking and cause him to react the way he does. This one had me thinking for a long time.

Facts:  After overhearing an argument and its aftermath in an apartment below, what is one to do?

Extra: One of the downsides to only doing rush lines at TIFF is that sometimes volunteers don’t have their act together and let you in after the movie has already started. Usually not a big deal, except when it’s a psychological thriller and something very important happens in the first minute of the movie. It also would maybe not matter if this was not a Romanian movie, and every single Romanian movie I’ve seen aside from being really good, has had me feeling like I have no idea what will happen next. So I felt like this feeling of disorientation was just something Romanians do. Of course the nice couple next to me, let me know what had happened in the beginning as the end-credits were rolling, and I was able to put it all back together. Definitely a different experience than seeing the movie the way it was intended.