The Netflix Romanian film, The Father Who Moves Mountains (also titled, Tata muta Muntii), is directed by Daniel Sandu. It’s basic premise follows an intelligence officer who tries to find his son lost in the mountains.
Mircea, an intelligence officer, receives a phone call from the local police, who informs him that his son and his girlfriend have gone missing in the mountains. Their last sighting was when they were heading to the mountains via a closed-off trail during the winter.
After the mountaineering staff refuses to help him after searching for a long time, Mircea seeks help from the intelligence services. Finally, they pick up phone chatter from his son’s phone to the emergency services, where the girlfriend is begging for help as they have lost their way on the trail. They can see amidst the white snow a giant boulder that the man on the other end of the line told her would be used as the marker. Then, the phone dies.
The days pass, and the snow piles up meter after meter. The rescue team and the team hired by Mircea call off the rescue operation after answering his desperate, disillusioned orders for search. The volunteers, later hired, leave too, along with the missing girl’s family. But nothing stops Mircea from “digging” further while his ex-wife sobs at the church.
‘The Father Who Moves Mountains’ Ending Explained
The movie shows the journey of Mircea, a cynical disillusioned father, as he is faced time and again with the reality of his son ‘s death but without any avail.
After the intelligence services triangulate an area based on the location of the phone of his son’s girlfriend, and even after everyone deserts him with his disillusionment, he continues to dig for months. One day, a rescue team member notices him waiting in line for the ropeway to go uphill for the umpteenth time and decides to help him yet again.
As the four men begin their digging, they receive a call requesting help for another casualty. The rescuers are off-duty, but Mircea insists they go help the man who has a much better chance of survival than his missing son. The film’s last shot shows him digging furiously in a way we haven’t seen before.
The change in Mircea takes place in these last events of the film. Rage that is born from the untimely death of a loved one, for which you have no one to blame can change you as a person. One turns blind to the others’ advice as well as the dangers (in this case). As always, anger and pain spread a fog that blinds all other feelings. And often, the unanticipated departure of a close one blinds us to the dictates of reason and logic. This seems to be an echo of Rabindranath Tagore’s short story, The Postmaster, which too deals with the denial of reality that results from longing and separation.
While there’s no connection between the relationship that this movie and Tagore’s story portray, the resulting feeling of a loved one not returning remains the same.
The human heart is irrational. It courts disbelief with all its might, clinging to false hope until a day or a moment arrives when the heart bleeds out and finally cracks. The cords are cut, and we wake up. Perhaps, for Mircea, this moment of awakening comes after the movie is over. Things are left to our imagination, and some of us might even hope or believe that he will find his boy even if he’s dead. So, we too are holding on to the tiny slight possibility (that we believe, or are made to believe, exists in everything in life) despite the strongest proofs against it. And that’s what the ending leaves us with, a mind lost and a heart in pain.
The Father Who Moves Mountains is a 2021 Drama Thriller film directed by Daniel Sandu. It is streaming on Netflix.