When Costi’s neighbour first calls to his door asking to borrow money, then explaining he believes there to be buried treasure at his grandparents’ house, which he needs to hire a metal detector to find, Costi is sceptical but curious. The two men find a technician willing to help them, and set about digging up what could potentially be a fortune.
Showing in Un Certain Regard at Cannes, Treasure has a strong story idea at its heart, but due to a lack of an emotional arc, feels unfulfilling and distant.
The performances in the film – from Cuzin Toma, Adrian Purcarescu, Corneliu Cozmei and Cristina Toma – are strong enough, and there is plenty to laugh at in the initial stages of this ridiculous plan, but the cast are never truly given a chance to take their characters or the audience on an emotional journey, which means that even though they stand in the right place and say their lines, there is little for the audience to engage with.
The screenplay, written by Corneliu Porumbiou, has a clever and sweet idea at its heart; the childlike belief that there is treasure at the bottom of the garden is one that will speak to all of us, and in particular fans of The Goonies. The trouble is that none of the characters go on anything remotely like an emotional journey in the film. The bickering is amusing at first, but soon loses its charm, and through the potential highs and lows of the films, the characters remain stoic.
As director, Corneliu Porumbiou completely mismanages the pacing and emotion of the film, leaving this potentially heart warming and fun film to collapse under its own sombre mood.
In all, Treasure is hardly a gem, with the pacing drawn out and a non-existent emotional arc for the characters or the audience. A shame, since the idea at the heart of the film has so much potential.