A tale about a strange young man, Bulcsú, the fellow inspectors on his team, all without exception likeable characters, a rival ticket inspection team, and racing along the tracks... And a tale about love.
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Ghost trains and ghostly characters, figuratively speaking of course, are what run through the perpetual night of this underground metro system. Bulcsú's (Sándor Csányi) life that once was, on the surface, where the real people go home after work, who go to the movies or a fine restaurant is now replaced by the dark, cold and solitude arena of his new dwellings. He, and his motley crew of ragtag metro ticket Kontrollers must patrol the trains that run these City dwellers back and forth and with daily ritual, check that no one dare come down into their world for a free ride. With indifferent passengers, a possible love interest, a regime set on competition and to top it all a mysterious serial killer at large, Kontroll is a dark and bleak comedy of the world of the ticket inspector, who, in the end must keep this Metro system running. If not, what would be the worst that could happen, if they ever lost control? Dare you ride here for free, too? Written by
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The second our train pulled out, they jumped onto the tracks and started to run after us. It's not easy because the ground is covered with tubes and cables and the tracks are there, too. Your lungs fill with graphite powder and you can't breathe. The problem is the next train.
Wait, wait, wait... This IS the last train.
The last passenger train. We still have the midnight express behind us.
The midnight express? What's that?
It's the real last train. It's the last train that heads back to the ...
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KONTROLL is a Hungarian film from director Nimród Antal. Yes, that's really his name. The first thing he did when he introduced the film was make fun of the fact that he was called Nimrod, which is great.
The film is about a group of ticket inspectors in the Hungarian subway system, with the focus on at least one in particular (Bulcsú). Each character is extremely likable, even the passengers become memorable characters, as none of them buy a ticket and are chased or shaken down by the inspectors, which is commonplace in Hungary. There is even a young girl in a bear suit (don't ask) that is absolutely gorgeous. The interaction between her and Bulcsú is sweet and funny. They had the kind of chemistry that is difficult to capture on film.
The entire film takes place in the underground, which is effectively presented as a separate world than the one above ground. Some characters even talk about "up there" with a child- like wonder in their voices.
The cinematography is beautiful. Some of the scenes or long panning shots in the underground are breathtaking. Who'd a thunk it'd look so cool down there? You can tell the director has a photography background, by the wonderful shots he selected.
I was also pleasantly surprised by the rockin' soundtrack. Unfortunately, the band that did the music (NEO) are no longer together. Lets hope the director gets the soundtrack released.
This film is not all laughs however. It has a very serious side that is dark, and an ending that makes you think. If this is the kind of film we can expect from Hungary, I'm eagerly anticipating more. I definitely recommend this film. (8/10)
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