Relationships under the microscope in Budapest
by Boyd van Hoeij
At the 41st edition of the Hungarian Film Week, which will conclude tonight with the awards ceremony in Budapest, several new films explored the odd behaviour of men in relationships.
In writer-director Denes Orosz’ high-concept box-office hit Poligamy [+see also:
film profile], a thirtysomething screenwriter (Hungarian superstar Sandor Csanyi) is afraid of his girlfriend’s desire for a wedding ring and a child. One day he wakes up to find that his girlfriend has changed into a completely different woman, and each time he sleeps with her, she changes appearance again, though she maintains she is, in fact, his girlfriend Lilla.
Made with bright production values and game performances from its stellar cast, the film derives much of its humour from the way in which the protagonist’s two apparently mutually exclusive desires – staying with the woman he loves and having sex with every woman he sees – are suddenly satisfied both at once.
The many actresses playing Lilla often play up their offscreen personas, adding an additional layer for Hungarian audiences, though Orosz’ screenplay could have used an extra pinch of character development as it currently lacks a strong emotional payoff.
In the three-hander Question in Details from writer-director Zsombor Dyga, a chance encounter between three characters, a shy young widower and two siblings, leads to an intense film, mainly set in the handsomely lived-in city loft of the spunky sister and her gay brother.
Swirling the camera around his characters as apparently innocent lines of chatter turn into treacherous revelations, Dyga painstakingly avoids making his widescreen movie look like a filmed play, though dialogue often remains stagey and coincidences are so many the screenplay at times feels too calculated.
The Filmteam production was co-produced by Slovakian outfit Goldeneye Factory.
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.