Caps (2017) - full transcript

Radu, 45, rich and single, manages his business with a strong, unwavering hand and no scruples. His competition is now leading a charge against him on the stock market, which prompts Radu to remember a childhood game of beer bottle caps, a game that required risk-taking, effort and skill. A heart attack and the news that he might need a heart transplant determines him to head to a remote place, where the Danube river meets the sea, a place of simple people and age-old customs.

-I'm begging you!
-Mircea, I'm all out.

When I play,
I play for blues or not at all.

Only jerks and chickenshits

play for reds.

You know what? Swap with Vlad.

He's low on blues, but still.
You're playing with him!


Empty bottles! I'm buying empty bottles!

Get out of here!

Are you sure?

Holy shit!

-I was counting on you.
-I told you not to play against Bebe.

Bebe, you're the best. Seriously, you are.

Another round?
Oh, wait, you're out of blues.

-And he needs practice.
-Big time.


Now what?

We do what we must.
We buy everything on the market.

Let's squeeze everyone
who's overdue on payments.

Squeeze them good.

-And Cristian?
-Do we have collateral?

-A bank statement.
-Get his money.

I say we meet with them again.
Maybe we can negotiate.

Squeeze a little, let loose a little.

-If you want, I can call them.
-What's to negotiate?

I'm not saying we should merge.
We've discussed that already.

But a conflict, especially now…
A conflict is risky.

A conflict is risky. What's this, then?

From the second
they offered two cents to take over,

from that point on, we're in a conflict.
What's to avoid?

I can almost see that pig.

"Better a slice of a big melon
than a whole orange."

A moron! They're taking us for fools,
that's the problem.

Tell me, Petrica.

What's left to negotiate now?

We've got our undies down,
they have a hard-on,

and you want us to meet up with them!

Tomorrow I want us
to cease payments. All payments.

For a couple of days,
till we figure out where we stand.


Want us to stop paying taxes, too?

How much?

About 50 millions, plus excise duty.
A bit more, close on sixty.


Get a postponement on the money.

Let's keep it for shares.
If things get messy, we use it.

-What's this?
-From Toma. Surprise.

-You want anything?

You going?

I'm in no mood. You?

Razvan's taking me. He's picking me up
in Snagov, we'll be there in an hour.

If you change your mind, tell me.
We'll leave from Baneasa Airport.

I'll stop by Victor's place tonight.
He's the one with--

It mustn't cost us more than two percent.
And at least a one-year extension.

Do me a favor: come tomorrow.
It'll be the three of us and Cristian.

-8:00, 8:30.

I'm thinking about going to Venice.
You wish Toma all the best from me.

I will.
I'll be in Sfantu Saturday morning.

-Are you leaving?
-I'm coming back.

Listen, it's serious.

We really need
to settle things with Victor.

-Are you going to Toma's?

Toma's, in Sfantu.
He's marrying Mariana off.

Maria, man. Her name's Maria.

He hasn't said anything about it.

He's sent me an invitation through Vlad.


You should've come a while ago. Wait.

Get dressed, I'll make some phone calls.

You go, Doctor, I'll bring him to you.

Go on.

-I'll be right there.
-Second floor, to the left.

I know.

And take the elevator.
I'll be waiting at the reception desk.


-Who is it?
-It's me.

-How are you doing, son?
-Hello, Mom.

Wait, I've got something on the stove.

I'm not up to much.
Just making some leek and olive stew.

I'm happy you're here,
but I hope you'll also--

We talked on the phone.

I must have pressed some button.
I couldn't hear a thing.

I told you, I need to be in Venice.

What? So you won't be here
for your father's memorial?


That's work for you.
If you must, you must.

Do it while you're still young.

You're so much like me!

I'll put it in the oven later.

Now let's go through.

Come on.

Here they were!

They're so pretty, my Lord!

Stand there,
let me get a better look at you.

So. It's like this.

His sister is coming with the girls.

Florica's coming too.

I called Dumitriu too, poor thing.

He's all alone and he keeps calling me
to talk about your father.

I want to hand out twelve food packs
for alms.

I asked Florica to make the cake.

I also want to replace the cross.

It's wooden and starting to rot.
I've ordered one in white marble.

-I'll leave you some money.
-I don't need any. I don't.

-I'll leave it here.
-On the coffee table is fine.

I talked to those two guys.
They'll cement it and everything.

The cemetery guys have gone nuts,
gravediggers and all.

You know where our plots are.

A grave is now as expensive
as an apartment.

That's what it's gotten to.

Your dad was right when he wanted
to sell the Trabant to buy another plot.

I grumbled at him for nothing.

For nothing.

What would have been the use?

What do you mean? We'd have two plots now.

Well, I'll be buried with your father,

I don't like the way you look.
And you seem tired.

But how's work going? Are you managing?

I saw on TV, there's trouble with the…
What do you call them?

The stock exchanges!

I'm fine, Mom. No problems.

It's very important to do well at work.

Florica said she saw your new yacht
on that paparazzi show.

She said it was very beautiful,
but a bit big.


They're hurting.

I made you sour cherry jam.

What's that?

Jam. The jar was for you, but I forgot.

You come to see us so rarely.
And you're always in a hurry.

I'll save it for you, put it in a bag,
and also put in some zacuscă.

It's organic, with veggies
from the countryside.

I made it after granny's recipe.

We started talking
and I forgot to ask you if you're hungry.

Can I bring you anything else?

Desert, a digestive?


Of course.

-Another beer.
-Of course.

-The toilet?
-Whack him, Vasile!

Fucking shitheads! The toilet, you said?

You'll rot in jail, you scum!

-Damn hooligans!

The ice bucket!


I knew it! I told you! So?


-No way!
-The big one came out with a broom!

So what? You were a foot away! Less!

You were this close!


You realize where we'd be now?

You jerk! You're the biggest jerk!

A sniveling worm! Fuck you!


Do you like it?

I think I know it. Monte Carlo?

Mr. Victor…

They took us to classes in Nice,
gave us a bit of a tour of Monte Carlo.

As the Prime Minister said:
"New era, new people."

Our people.

-Had you been there before?
-First time.

You walk the streets, see all that,
you start to feel light-headed.

And the marina!

You just stand there and stare,
like an idiot.

Luxury, yeah, but not the regular kind.

Fine luxury! Smart guys.

-Did you go with the family?

Didn't I tell you? I went for work.
European integration courses.

Some of that stuff we already knew,
we weren't babes in the woods.

But it was useful.

It enlightened me
on the fiscal paradise thing.

Heavy stuff!

Got to tiptoe around, like ballerinas.

Like those skinny bitches.

How much?


Come on, Mr. Cristi.
I'm asking you nicely. Please!

You know I'm a nag.

Come on, I won't tell on you.

It's a bit more complicated.
I bought several from them.

Actually, just one.

Eighty thousand, was it?

Seventy-eight thousand.

Sit down.


I thought you were smart.

-I'm sorry. I'm an idiot, a moron!
-No problem.

Sorry, boss.
I fucked up, but I didn't mean it.

I got carried away. The adrenaline.

You know what it's like.

Cristi. This stays here.

Can I ask for a favor?

You know, with the debt.

I'm giving you three more months.

You took one.


Got a full house?

The normal thing to do is raise.

Or not.

Petrica's thousand.

Plus 5,000.


Ace-high flush.

You got it.

What's this? Let me go.

Let me go!

I don't want anything.
I want to go home to Mommy.

Still cloudy, with temperatures lower
than the monthly average,

in most regions across the country.

…cloudy, with rain across all areas
and moderate wind.

Gale-force winds in mountain areas
to reach 30 miles per hour,

and at high altitudes
sleet, rain and snow.


They've started selling large packages.


-Keep buying.

Hold on.

Tell him to stop buying.

Stop buying.

You heard me.

He's with me.

All right, we'll talk.

Are you sure?

We'll try.

-I hope you like it.
-Thank you.

-Would you like anything else?

What do you think?

Smells nice.

-Smells like musk.

Two master's degrees,
English, French, a bit of Italian.

What's your Monica like?

Anyway, she's on a trial period.

My son.

Bonjour, monsieur!

All right, I'll talk to you later.

I'll call you. OK, bye.

He doesn't like the school in Switzerland.

Says it sucks, it's worse than prison.
He wants to come home.

Do you remember when we played caps?

What caps?

We were kids and we played caps.

With Bebe?

What's gotten into you?

Bebe was cool.
He had loads of red bottle caps.

Blue, from German beer.

The blue ones were the ones that mattered.

-No, Radeberger.

It's very rare.

No shit. Why do you think
I'm giving you five for it?

I say it's worth seven. For real.

Tough luck.

It's got a bent corner.

-Four. I'm giving you four.

What are you doing, man?

Bebe, it's from my dad's collection.
I'm sure it's real.


Which corner?

Give me the envelope. Let me see.

Come on!

I knew it.

It's screwed up at the top,
above the fish.

It's not worth more than five.

Have you seen any of them lately?

Just Toma. We went pike fishing.

How is he, besides the pike
and his daughter's marriage?

He's doing better now. He'd gotten
into a bad state, after Ana died.

-His wife had breast cancer.
-Did you tell me about it?

Last year.

Call him, if you're not going.
You've got his number on the invitation.

He'd be happy to hear from you.
He's upset.

-I can imagine.
-No, not about his wife.

He's built himself a house,

but the folks there
won't give him the deed,

after they gave him the building permit.

A bunch of morons!

It's new land and all he has
is a certificate from the town hall.

The river comes in.

And Bebe? How's Bebe doing?

I fixed him up
with a construction company in Turin,

then he split for Canada.
Haven't heard from him since. A thug.


How is it?

Rising! Slightly, but rising.

All markets are on the rise. Hold on.

-We go in, till Thursday's quotation.
-We're buying.

Yeah, have them buy some too.

You stop at four point seven.


Stay in touch.

Now let's see what they do.

They thought they could screw us,
but we screwed them!

Not yet.

But the foreplay's good.

You know what? If things go well,

call the guys Friday morning
and set up a meeting for Monday.

Maybe they want to tell us something.

-Where did you disappear to, Monday?
-I was in a hurry.

-I was in a hurry.

-What happened to your head?
-This? I hit my head.


I slipped. Tell me.


And here.

They're like stock exchange graphs.

When these are going up, it's good.

For us it's bad.


It's bad.
Well, your EKG isn't very conclusive.

We need to investigate further.

I want to do an echocardiography
and a coronary arteriography.


I've got kind of a busy week.


It can wait.

I'd send you to Vienna.

Do a technetium-99m ventriculography
and a positron emission tomography.

I don't want to scare you,
but you might even need a transplant.

If it comes to that,
could you take a long vacation?

Of course. I can do that anytime.

Good, great.

Then do it today. Stop today.

We're going through a rough patch.

These guys are trying to screw us over.

We didn't want to merge with them,

and they have some shares in our company.
Quite a lot, really.

They put them on the stock exchange
to force prices to go low,

then they'll buy a control package
at the lowest price they can get.

But we're not stupid,
so we've been buying as much as we can.

It's important that we keep the price up.
It's vital.

I know it's important, I understand.
It's vital, like you said.

Maybe it will work out
and you can make some time.

Now let me tell you about transplants.

First we run all possible tests,
as quickly as possible.

After we get a clear result,
you'll get a score,

and they'll put you on a waiting list.
It's very important--

-How long would that list be?
-It depends.

But when your turn comes,

get to the hospital
as quickly as possible.

Don't turn your phone off.

I'm not waiting.

Me, wait?

Let's talk and find a solution.
I can pay whatever it takes.

You're cool.

What choice do I have?
Wait around like an idiot, on a list?

You probably know some guys.
Place an order, they'll take care of you.

I could call them too.

Have them get you a new liver too!

Come on, Mircea.

"Don't take it like that."
How am I supposed to take it?

What are my chances?

I don't know.

I'll go with you to Vienna.

Or wherever we decide to do it.

But let's see what the tests say.

Don't leave.

What are you doing here?

I came to see you. And talk.

Great! It took you five years
to remember me.

-Why didn't you call first?
-I didn't want to ruin the surprise.

Now he's making surprise visits!

-Good thing you didn't bring flowers.
-Elena, I know you don't like them.

You're a piece of work! Know-all!

I like potted flowers a lot.

Who did you get into a fight with?

I got drunk and fell.

Yeah, right! Tell me what's going on.

Get me the full blood work
for Mrs. Axinte.

And call Cardio,
see if I can move Mrs. Dascalescu.

They said not until tomorrow.

I want it done today.

-Tell Emilian I asked for it, OK?


I don't like the way you look.
Have Mircea check you out.

I will.

Don't leave, I'll be right back


Are you free tonight?


Do you want us to get together?

Won't what's-his-name mind?


I was thinking you could
come to our place for dinner.

You'll get to meet Ana.
She's pretty, like me.

Come on, we can catch up.
Around 8:00, 8:30.

-You still have your old number?

I'll text you the address.
It's near September 13th.

I need to run now.

See you tonight.

A top up. One cube?


-Thank you.
-You're welcome.

What was I saying?

We wanted to move closer to the center,

closer to the university
and the Municipal Hospital,

but then the recession came.

This place is central, too.

We were thinking of Cotroceni.

We want to sell this place.

I hear that area's got issues.

What issues?

Land issues.

It's low and close to the river.

When there's heavy rain
the basements get flooded.

The sewage pipes get overrun. They're old.

A year ago, I wanted to buy a villa
on a street close to the palace.

But even though it had some elevation
and a gorgeous garden, I gave up.

We're fine with Cotroceni,
we don't want a villa.

An apartment will do,
maybe with an extra room.

We might have another child.

It could happen anytime.

Do you have children?

I don't.

I could have had children.

I want a little brother.

And you.


What do you mean? We're waiting for you.

She's almost asleep.

-You want to talk to Mommy?

Hold on.



-Did she hang up?

She asked me to tell you
the surgery ran late,

so it'll be a while longer.

-Feeling sleepy?

-Want Daddy to take you to bed?

If you're hungry, the sauce is ready,
I can boil the spaghetti real quick.

-When she's in bed.
-It's late.

-What's his name?

-Pic who?
-Pic Stoica.

-Goodbye, Mr. Stoica.

Hi, Toma.

Vlad gave me the invite and I called
to tell you I'm coming tomorrow.

I wanted to ask how to get there.

It's late now.

Call me tomorrow morning,
to set things up.

OK, goodnight.

Should we get more?

I've never seen so many blues.
I say we've got enough.


-Where's Mircea?
-At home.

He's getting ready for school tomorrow.

I say we go too. It's bad!
They took a math test and it sucked.

-How do you know?
-Vlad told me. I returned a library book.

-Did you tell him anything?
-Come on, man! I'm not a rat.

-What are you going to do?
-I'll stay.

What's your girl's name?

Don't you have a little girl?

A boy, Cristian.
Turning eight this December.

Good for you.



He's here.

I'm here. Finally.

It took you a few years.



Is that all your luggage?

For three days.

You should put something else on.
The boat gets drafty.

I've got something.

Yeah, a windbreaker. That's good.

Where do I put this?


My in-law. You'll like him.

We didn't see eye-to-eye at first.

It was tough, but he had a point.
After all, who was I?

A city boy from Bucharest.

I slipped in the bathroom. Shall we?


-Do you need anything else?

-When should I come for you?
-I'll call.

Bye, then. Have a safe trip.

Thanks for bringing him to me. Come on.

Take a seat.

We're leaving now.


So, how are things, Professor?

We'll be drinking at the wedding soon.

Cheers! That's right.

Any bites?

We're waiting on sturgeon.

What's with the--

You never got to see them.
Ceausescu had them built in '84.

He got it into his head
to turn Sfantu into a town.

And the marina?

The Democrats.

When Basescu and Udrea were in power.

-Let me have that.
-Am I crippled or what?

-How is it? All settled in?

No mosquitos now.
You can sleep with the windows open.

Cheers. Good to see you again.

Cheers. To a good marriage for the kids.

What do you think?

-Not bad.
-I made it.

I also bought a white one from Nicoresti.
Went there last week.

A nice dry one.

A good price, seven lei fifty a liter.

-Are you paying for everything?
-No, the boy's parents are,

That's the custom.
But I couldn't leave it all to them.

I got two barrels of brandy too.

-You're really not hungry?

Such a shame, this place.

With a larger marina and a golf course
there'd be some good money in it.

No, it's too remote.

They built some B&Bs and a camp site.

Some folks come, not too many.
Transportation's scarce.

In winter the Danube freezes,
and they parachute the bread in.

You built it like a holiday home.

Ana wanted it like this.

She drew it.

-Vlad told me about the deed problem.
-They keep putting me off.

The guys now and the ones before them too.

-Are you in any party?
-Why would I be? You?

Vlad promised me he'd talk to the prefect.

-What's the price per square meter?
-Sixty euros, seventy… It depends.

Before they built the dam,
this land here didn't even exist.

From the seafront to the Central Canal,
the land is 200 years old at the most.

-How much is a grave plot?

Nothing, it's free.
Why, what's gotten into you?


I can see the ship.

I'm coming.

He's the groom.

I need to go over to the "Passenger"
to get the drinks.

If you want, you can come along.

I'll stay here.


Come on, we've got work to do.

-Carp fishing contest?
-Let's make it pike.

Only the big ones count.
And I say we bet a six-pack of beer.

I didn't know where you were.

You can feel the south wind.

It's a good wind,
it'll bring in the sturgeon.

Those crates killed me.

I unloaded them and moved them around.

They couldn't decide where to put them.

See that willow?

That's where I was fishing
when I saw Ana for the first time.

The Danube was high, and I was sitting
just the way I am now.

And she was coming from the sea,
sandals in hand.

I was a junior, right before the finals.

And instead of studying you went fishing.

You didn't like school
and ended up in Sfantu.

No. Ana was top of her class

and we were already married
when they assigned us.

We could've gone anywhere, even Bucharest.

-What did you graduate in? Geography?

If you'd asked me then,
I would've chosen Bucharest.

Do your folks still live there?

They passed away. Yours?

My dad got Alzheimer's
and then had a heart attack.

My mother's fine.
I've been trying to get her to move.

I kept the apartment for my daughter,
if she decides to go to college.

-What does she want to do?
-Romanian and English, like her mother.

If not, she'll stay
a kindergarten teacher here.

Didn't you want to go to med school?

So why did you give up?

Too lazy.
Besides, you know what it was like.

Easier to stay in the city as an engineer.

Anyway, I wanted to emigrate.

I know.

Perhaps it's better you never left,
after all.

Have you never been married?

You liked girls.

I've had a few long relationships.



I have a really good percentage, 100%.

I'm going to bed.

-How far away is the sea?
-You've forgotten.

-It was quite a walk.
-About ten minutes.

Are you staying?

My back's pretty stiff.
I hope it doesn't jam now, of all times.

I forgot about the towels.

They're in your closet on the left,
over the beds.

All right.


I'll leave the veranda door open.

-Do you remember Tanta?
-Tanta who?

Come on! You've forgotten Tanta?

Tanta! Fairy girl, from our block.

Blond, slim, pretty.
Lived in the same building as Bebe.

He was on the fourth floor,
she was on the third.



He's right here, next to me.

He says Mircea's asking about you.

Hold on, I'll put him on.


Yes, I turned it off.

And your problem is?

All right, we'll talk.

Yes, Vlad.

They've gone up ten percent.

The shares.

What? Say again.

The refinery--

He says it's OK with the refinery.

He's not saying anything.

When are you getting here?

Of course.

OK, we'll be waiting.

I envy you, being able to quit.

It's a big deal.

I've quit, like,
I don't know how many times.

I've managed to cut down
to four or five per day,

since my daughter's been watching me.

Where is Maria?

At her mother-in-law's,

trying on the dress
and helping with the cooking.

Maria made that.

It's with cheese.

Very good.

They're off!

Hear it?

Gavrila and his folks.

Trying to scare off all their worries,
chasing them out of the village.

If they manage it,
it'll be a long, happy marriage.

They're all modernized,
with engines for their boats,

cell phones, Internet, Facebook accounts,

but they've held on to a lot of customs.

They play their part too.

How does that work out with faith?

It just does.

Ana used to say they're like baubles
on this big, old tree.

I'll take these to the kitchen,
and we'll go lend them a hand.

-Thanks for breakfast.
-Hope you enjoyed it.

Do you like it?

Do you like it here, with us?

You're a friend of the Professor?
From Bucharest?


Such a nice man, the Professor.
So was his wife, God rest her soul.

Let's go.

Anything else to do?

Not for the moment.

You OK?

Why weren't there any women?

It's the custom.
The men drive away the evil spirits,

the women call the good fairies
out of the sea.

Now is the best time,
when the moon is full.

You mentioned Tanta.

I was surprised you'd forgotten her.

I hadn't.

I just said I had.

Tanta was my first love.

-I didn't know.
-Neither did she.

-She was older, right?
-Two years.

I was in the fourth grade,
she was in the sixth.

I waited every day
for her to come out of class.

I didn't want her to see me there,
but one day she did.

She smiled and asked me if I wanted
to carry her school bag home.

-So I did.

But I was silent all the way,
I didn't know what to say.

When I got to her place, she asked:
"What's with you? Are you a mute?"

The next day
she was with another guy. Razvan.

They were holding hands in the street.
And talking.

Which Razvan?

From the buildings by the main road.

Played club soccer. Her classmate.

Remember we used to go to the movies?

The outdoors theater at Doina.

I haven't been in a long time.

-Does Doina still exist?
-They tore it down.

What about The Three Little Bears?

That big toy store on Lipscani.

It's a Lebanese restaurant now.

You can smell the sea.

Do you remember the last time you laughed?

Vlad told me a joke about Trump and Obama.

Not like that.
Real laughter, with all your heart.

Like that, no.

Maybe when I was a kid
and I dreamed I was flying.

I'd hurry to go to sleep, so I could fly.
Like in Circus Angel.

That was a French movie, with a blond kid.

You saw it too. I saw it several times.

I saw it with you once. You, Mircea, Vlad.

One summer, at Doina.

A blond kid with angel wings.

Who owns those horses?

Who do you think? No one.

Folks left them on the banks
and they've multiplied.

For the St. George's Day feast
we race them by the sea.

Those we can catch. Then we let them go.

I've also called Mircea.

A bit late, but…

I might need a heart transplant.

It's not sure yet,
I still need some tests.

I've only had an EKG
and that was inconclusive.

I had an attack.

Several, in fact, but the last one
was really bad and I got scared.

What did Mircea tell you?

That he'd help.

He wanted to send Ana to Vienna.

But Ana wanted to come home.

He should've pushed more,
he shouldn't have let her.

We were wrong.

I was wrong.

I brought her here
and she instantly felt better,

much better.

I stopped giving her morphine.

And we all hoped for a miracle.

It's starting to smell like autumn.



I'm getting drowsy.

I think it's time for bed.

We're waking up early tomorrow.
We need to be out of the gate by 7:00.

All right.



-We need more wood for the spit.

And Lena's plates, the striped ones.

I got them at six this morning.
The bowls too.

Sasha, it's you I should've married,
not this guy.

It's good.

Tell me about it! I know.

No, give it to the kids instead.

But where did you get the brandy?

Oradea. It's plum.

It's good, real good!

Silence! Be quiet!


Now, as custom would have it,

the bride and groom will thank
the girl's grandparents, Nera and Petre.

God help us!

God help us!

Thank you, Grandpa.

Thank you.

What's the dance called?

The Broom. Shall we try it out?

-They're all young.
-Aren't we?

The broom!

The guys are here.

I could do with a beer. Thirsty?

Now that you mention it,
I could do with a beer.

I knew it. I got some set aside on ice.

German beer.

-Can you wait a bit longer?

Let them get out of the helicopter
and we'll all have a beer.

Like the good old days.

-How are you set for blues?
-I'm all out.

Such nice housewives you make.

Well done, girls!
You're an example to all of us.

Hard-working as ants. No, really.

I'm glad. How are you set?

Any blues or do you need some from me?

The broom!

The broom!

And so.

One way or another,
it all fell into place.

As your dad would've wanted it.
The cross was ready too.

And you took care of your things too?

I hope you did.

I knew it.

Want to hear something?
Just don't laugh at me.

I've been thinking of that cheese pie
since yesterday.

I'm dying to have some.

No one in this whole world
makes cheese pie like your mother.

And I know what I'm talking about. No one!

Come on, Florica!
You're a sweetheart for liking it.

What about that cake you make?

Tell me, have you tasted it?

-The cake?
-The pie.

Not yet.

Me neither. And I can't wait to get home.

-Are you coming with us?
-I am.

-What time do you need to leave?
-I have to be at the airport at four.

Good. I'm glad we've got time
to eat together.

And please give Toma a hug from me.

Wish him all the best
for the little one's marriage.

My God, I can almost see him.
When he used to come by.

The doctor too, and Vlad.

You'd play those games you played.

What did you say her name was?