Hungarian Vagabond is the funny and adventurous time travel of the seven Hungarian chieftains from the ninth century until nowdays. Full of cultural and historical references depicted in a ... See full summary »
Ernõ Blaskovich lost everything after the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. Kincsem, a magnificent horse gives a purpose of his meaningless, self-destructing life. He gets a chance to gain everything back: revenge, love and fame.
Tamás is a young, Budapest-based director of video clips and commercials who dreams of directing his first feature film with the title 'The Guilty City'. He has already written the script ... See full summary »
Fourteen-year-old György's life is torn apart in World War II Hungary, as he is sent to a concentration camp, where he is forced to become a man, and learns to find happiness in the midst of hatred, and what it really means to be Jewish.
A year ago Ernella, Albert and their 10 year old daughter, Laura, left the country for a better life. They haven't managed to succeed in Scotland, so they came back. In the middle of the ... See full summary »
1962-ben, amikor Gagarin urrepult es csaknem kitort a harmadik vilaghaboru, nalunk mar jo ideje nem tortent semmi es ugy nezett ki, hogy meg vagy harminc evig nem is fog. De, hogy ... See full summary »
Gabor Herendi's first film, the delightful Valami Amerika, featured three brothers and their inability to see a visitor to Hungary for who he really is. The narrative bounced effortlessly among different points of view and worked music and song seamlessly worked into the storyline.In Herendi's new film, Lora, two brothers are in love with the same woman. Making one of the brothers a performing musician enables Herendi to continue exploring the use of actual (not sound track) music in the narrative process. The narrative, as in his first film, is all about seeing, but where the characters in the first film could not penetrate an identity,the title character in this film is blind to her entire world--she has been struck by hysterical blindness after a tragic event. Her condition is both real and symbolic. Even while she could see, she was blind to her lover's infidelities, her friend's betrayal, and above all, the genuine love of the "other" brother. What makes this second film a more mature, a more complex, a more substantial film is Herendi's ability to show how his character, amidst her blindness, learns finally to see.
The film opens and closes with Lora at the psychiatrist's office, prepared to be hypnotized for a final attempt at freeing her from her self-imposed blindness, and the narrative stays mostly in the present, as the former museum guide manages a successful second career as a wine expert. But as Herendi tells blind Lora's story, he intertwines with it the back-storyhow she came to her blindness. The "before" and "after" stories merge smoothly, often with matched cuts between past and present. While there are moments of surprise as Lora opens a door in the present and we find her with a character in the earlier story, there is no disorientation. The narrative is smooth despite the periodic switches into the back-story, enabling him to present the past dramatically. While technically flashbacks, the scenes retain setting, sound (especially music as live performance), action, and other elements in both time frames, creating this uninterrupted narrative.
The film is described as a comedy, and it is characterized by many moments of genuine humor, especially in the banter among the members of the group that includes Lora's great admirer and near-lover, her boyfriend's younger brother. There are also moments of black humor that involve an urn, repeated gags about the father's apartment, and rather sweet exchanges between the musician brother and Lora. Herendi handled visual gags well in Valami Amerika, and he offers some variations here of what worked earlier. A favorite is punishing the uninvited visitor by shocking her. In all, the romantic story is handled well. Though blind, Lora is a feisty, self-sufficient character who generates admiration rather than pity. If anything, she manages almost too well, needing to decide if in fact real sight was not the factor that had prevented insight! The apparently ambiguous ending can actually be deciphered fairly easily and in no way prevents the viewer from feeling completely satisfied by the film. The supporting acting is uniformly excellent, from the sexual predator of the older brother (a reprise from the earlier film), to the faithful younger brother, the grieving father, the faithless girl friend, Lora's boss and hopeful swain, and others. The subtitles are excellent, with one quibble: Hungarian curses are varied and legend, but the translation aims for the English idiom with its "screw you" or "F you," abandoning the delight of the carefully crafted Hungarian maledictions.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this