Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)


Kontroll is a Hungarian comedy-drama-fantasy-slasher-thriller-whodunnit about life and death on the Budapest subway system.

And I mean it when I say "life and death."

On the life side, the main character – the hapless Bulcsú – seems determined never to leave. He sleeps on platforms down there, works on trains down there, and goes on dates down there, in preference to even venturing up the escalator to one of the stations' coffee-shops. He has, quite literally, gone underground from someone, or something.

As for who or what he is so petrified of above… could it be the owl who seems to keep following him around?

On the death side, there is quite a lot of blood. Partly because Bulcsú never cleans himself up after his encounters. Towards the end of the film, he is covered in so much of the stuff, and yet still dilligently continues to carry out his job as a ticket-inspector. None of his reserved passengers even bat an eyelid.

And that waking-dream atmosphere is partly what makes this surreal film so compelling, along with the fascinating visuals, and echoey soundtrack. This Metro is an unpleasant, yet enchanting, place.

And the comedy? Well, everyone is played with such conviction that the deft humour flows quite naturally, and it's very easy indeed to recognise the hardened cynical culture has silently developed in the darkness below - and all around - us.

Bulcsú and ?


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