Bogdan Theodor Olteanu Talks about Allowing Improvisations on ‘Mia Misses Her Revenge’
Romanian director Bogdan Theodor Olteanu knows how film school teaches young actors and actresses to go by director's rule. They can't argue and negotiate with the filmmaker's view, for they are taught that directors are gods.
Familiar with the contemporary beliefs that have been rooted deep in the foundation of society, Olteanu dreams of bringing changes, whether they be small or big. And his movies fully embody his ideology.
An example is how he brought to life a fictional yet relatable story of two young Romanian women falling in love in his very first feature, Several Conversations About a Very Tall Girl.
Unapologetically representing the LGBTQ+ community, he demonstrated the difficulty of embracing one's romantic inclination because of society's set standard.
Like that wasn't enough, Olteanu's other movie, Mia Misses Her Revenge, is all about his unique take on empowering women in the film industry. Defying the typical director role, he deliberately allowed improvisations from his actresses.
A Novel Approach to Bring Out Voices
Olteanu talked about the deliberate improvisations on Mia Misses Her Revenge during an interview with Variety on August 2, 2021.
The film director shared he wanted the movie, reflective of the women's empowerment in Romania, to be more than just his fiction. He wanted the actresses to put their voices in the project and make it relatable.
For me, the idea was to build this wireframe—this is happening, this is the story—but I want to have their voices in it.
That's why the film's writer let his cast members improvise as they shot the film and even performed improvisation exercises. At the end of the day, they skipped unnecessary parts and kept the crucial scenes.
Olteanu recalled how all the actresses, including the lead Ioana Bugarin, contributed hugely during the one-year filming. He compared himself to an orchestra conductor and heralded the cast as fine musicians.
The creative filmmaker also mentioned that the improvisations accentuated the movie's value. In his own words, the actresses brought truth and new insights that he hadn't even imagined.
What Is ‘Mia Misses Her Revenge’ About?
Mia Misses Her Revenge is a movie chronicling the unprecedented emotional crisis of a female lead, Mia, following an unexpected breakup with her boyfriend. The reason behind their split is a slap Mia got during a jealous fit.
Mia breaks up with him, returns home, and plans revenge by making an intimate video with another man. But the plan isn't as easy as she contemplated. She goes through self-doubts and uncertainty while listening to the differing opinions of every character.
A challenge arises as everyone tells her how to respond, and she gets emotionally crippled because of apprehensions.
Bugarin portrays Mia, and supporting her are fellow actors Maria Popistasu, Carol Ionescu, Ana-Maria Guran, Adrian Nicolae, and Alexandru Ion.
The movie won a Jury Special Mention at the Warsaw Film Festival in its premiere on October 9, 2020. Without a doubt, it is one of the best foreign movies to add to the watch list.