Monday, August 30, 2010
The title of this post refers to the name of the movie I watched on Sunday night, not to my mood. It is a German speaking movie, taking place in Budapest. It was a bit weird that the "Hungarians" spoke German, but hey, I can suspend belief on this detail. The movie was released in 2003 in the U.S., and you can get it on Netflix if you decide to watch it.
Gloomy Sunday is the name of a song that many of you may know. It was written in the 1930s and was a big hit. An intriguing urban legend is connected to the song, but I will not reveal it here. I will let you discover it on your own if you are interested. Googling was never easier.
The story is... well, unpredictable in some places which makes the viewing quite refreshing when comparing it to the Hollywood productions that are inflicted on us en masse, where the foreshadowed is foreshadowed again and again ad vomitum. I think this is why I like foreign films, because I can't predict everything that is going to happen, even though I realized that second world war was looming in the background and the Nazis were about to make an appearance. I found myself wanting to know what happens next and i liked that feeling. I remember when I was watching Avatar, very early in the movie there was a scene in which a bunch of dog-looking computer animated creatures attacked the main character in the forest, and I thought to myself, well, it's way too early in the movie for this guy to be killed, so I was like, ok, how long is this scene going to last exactly? I get the point. Scary dogs, big teeth, vicious dogs, barking, sharp teeth, black dogs barking loudly, attacking, I get the point, can we move on? And the scene went on and on until I almost wished the dogs would finish off the guy so I could go to sleep.
But in this Hungarian/German tale, I never got that feeling. I was totally fine with whatever happened on the screen (men in love, Europe in Nazi era, schmaltzy music, and an incredibly beautiful woman who disrobed a few times). I was fine even during some moments when things got a bit kitschy or when hearing the gloomy song for the umpteenth time made me feel I was going to have an epileptic seizure.
The other thing I really liked about that movie was that I didn't know any of the actors. That was so refreshing. No familiar shpiels, no "star power" BS, just some actors doing whatever actors do. I was able to get into the story without getting confused about all the other movies that this or that actor did during his/her amazing career or suddenly be distracted by memories of weird stories I'd heard about that actor and so forth.
So if you feel like watching something a little different, and you don't shy from reading subtitles, try this movie. You might like it. And if you don't, hey, don't blame me. I didn't write the screenplay or directed it.
I read somewhere it has a cult following in ....New Zealand.