class=”alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-54443″ title=”le_concert-300×199″ src=”×199-220×150.jpg” alt=”” width=”220″ height=”150″ />Romanian director Radu Mihaileanu returns to the silver screen with a broad comedy set in post-Soviet Russia.

Aleksei Guskov plays Andreï Filipov, a former world-famous conductor of the state orchestra in Russia. After being fired by the communist regime in 1980, Filipov now works as a mere cleaner at the concert hall where he once directed.

Through a series of mad antics, Filipov works his way back into conducting and eventually reunites with his former orchestra for a final performance.

Mélanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds) stars as a young violin soloist who Filipov takes under his wing and establishes an unlikely, yet comforting connection to.

The Concert begins as an engaging, extremely likeable comedy-drama, a seemingly delightful story of broken dreams and second chances.

The second half, however, fails to maintain what the first established. Often feeling clunky, cliched and bland in comparison to the strong, funny and nimble opening.

Laurent is remarkable as the young violinist, breaking free of the badly structured script and moulding her character onto one of meaning, truthfulness and desire.

The music, however beautiful and wistful, manages to feel oddly unplaced throughout The Concert, almost as though the film isn’t as intelligent or high-cultured to harbour music of such substance and beauty. It’s enough, however, to detract from the mad-cap events and unremarkable plot developments that take place during the second half.

Mihaileanu’s lush directing and beautiful scenery create a wonder for the eye to behold, but it’s never enough to detract from the clunky dialogue and cheesy narrative structure.

Mihaileanu may have had good intentions for the film, but there’s nothing here that lives up to the optimistic and strong premise. Aside from the first half, and skilfully sentimental final performance, The Concert is a shallow, formulaic and bland piece of cinema, with a wasted performance from Laurent and beautiful music that feels oddly out of place.