16 Jun 2024

Nasty. Impeccable service on the red carpet.

Whether you're a fan of Ilie Năstase or not, the main character in the documentary "Nasty" will seduce you.

My parents didn't even know each other when Ilie Năstase began conquering the tennis world, along with his fans and the nickname Nasty. Therefore, I didn't have any connection with the Great Sportsman, as everyone calls him, but only with the public figure we all know. "Nasty" was a surprise, and a very pleasant one at that.

For those who, like me, don't know much about the athlete Năstase, I think it's a must to see the documentary directed by Tudor Giurgiu, Cristian Pascariu, and Tudor D. Popescu. For those who already know, I don't think I need to say much because they will surely want to see this film. Perhaps I'll just add that tonight, alongside the team, the main actor himself, Ilie Năstase, will be present.

So it's a great opportunity to see and applaud the protagonist of this documentary that made waves at Cannes and was presented by the festival's director, Thierry Frémaux: "Romania is a great country for cinema, as it is for sport. Those who know Ilie Năstase know that the title of the documentary, 'Nasty,' is very fitting. This athlete was the first World No. 1 in ATP ranking history, and I want to greet ATP director Andrea Gaudenzi, who is with us tonight. The film tells part of tennis history but also captures an extraordinary, different era in which Ilie Năstase was the main actor."

Ilie Năstase, the first "bad boy" of world tennis, the unexpected star on the Croisette, as Le Figaro titled after the Cannes screening. Moreover, the international press has presented the film with great enthusiasm. The British publication The Guardian talks about Năstase's charm: "One of Năstase's paradoxes is that off the court, he seemed to be very popular among his professional colleagues [...]. In a time when sport was much friendlier and more accessible than it is today, Năstase was a charming figure [...] with an exoticism underscored by his Romanian heritage."

For ScreenDaily, "Nasty" is "a colorful and captivating documentary. [...] The archive footage, in color or black and white, set to Marius Leftărache's music, captures Năstase's balletic athleticism," and for Cineuropa, "the trio of directors create a tightly wound documentary, full of tension, that is as entertaining as a match with Năstase."

Personally, I discovered, sometimes amidst laughter, an irresistible character, with all the ups and downs of any personality, one that cannot leave you indifferent. It will drive you crazy, as it did with some referees, audiences, and players, for example, but then he'll smile mischievously, make a joke, and sneakily win the match!

Or, in short, the first great rock star in an impeccably white world, but lacking - until then - in brilliance, is a Romanian, and I'm glad someone thought to show us that in a film.