The Smuggler - Short Film Review

★★★★

Written & Directed by: #AdrianSerecut

Starring: #MateiChioariu, #OlgaTorok, #ElizaDobos, #DianaSerecut

Short Film Review by Taryll Baker

Poster for The Smuggler

Based on true events, a father and a husband living in the Eastern Bloc back in the 80s has to make a life-changing decision following his involvement in bible smuggling.


Adrian Serecut’s The Smuggler is a new short focusing on the smuggling of bibles in Eastern Europe under the Communist Regime. Set in the 80s, and bookended by present day scenes, the film makes a solid impact with its emotional rooting. Characters are established very fast and the fleshiness surrounding them feels pretty raw and real. The story takes place mostly in the past as the father takes a risky journey, ending up in a life altering situation.


The cinematography by Andrei Luca is stunning. It showcases a cold and stark Romania in its 80s setting, meanwhile the present day scenes look warm and inviting. The contrasting colour palettes make for an eye-pleasing treat and with the sharp framing and wonderful performances within the camera, this makes The Smuggler a very enjoyable watch. The performances are subtle yet affective, the beautifully textured piano-driven score by Dodo Danciu encapsulates feeling from the opening moments, and remains the beating heart from then on through to the close.


The locations used are expertly selected and the awareness of surroundings helps with the viewer finding their footing. The story itself plays out quite predictably, but it’s based on a cruel history, therefore to be expected. It’s not exactly something we haven’t seen before now, but it doesn’t mean that The Smuggler isn’t a fantastically well written, directed, performed and structured film. This is a realistic short that could have ran for at least an hour, perhaps pushing into feature length. But the short runtime is well utilised and therefore no expansion is needed. The Smuggler is simple but entertaining and could educate those who aren’t in the know.


Adrian Serecut is a skilled director and this film displays a good amount of his talents. This is certainly recommended viewing.


#TaryllBaker