The Director managed to captures perfectly the wild energy of the popular dance (Ciuleandra, hence the title). But unfortunately the acting, or rather the dialogue are unnatural and lack spontaneity. I've read the book and liked it, but the film was quite different. Also, it takes some time until the pieces fall into place and the beginning, despite being "spiced" with eerie dream sequences, is rather boring. In conclusion, this is a very decent movie and, particularly, a beautifully shot one. For those who like handsome movies, it is a must. The fact it was made before the fall of the Communist regime doesn't necessarily means it's aesthetically subdued. Even to modern standard, it's very convincing.