Kontroll Short Review (2004)

Kontroll is director Nimrod Antal’s first film; a dark introspective film shot entirely in the Budapest subway system. The cinematography is nothing short of beautiful and every single frame appears to have been set up by an old master cinematographer.

I’m not sure of the cinematographer’s name, but Antal’s films always have an artistic quality to them.

The subterranean world that is the Budapest Underground Transit System is shot with a very dark allure. Its shocking that this was Nimrod Antal’s first foray into directing.

It’s also a shame that he hasn’t written more since this is the only movie that he’s written and it’s by far his best (up against the likes of Predators and Vacancy). This feels more personal than some of his later films (like ‘Predators’).

The film is subtitled in english, but has a sense of humor that is easily translatable. There are some nicely set up action scenes scattered throughout, also. It even has some nods to other films like the French Connection and to Luc Besson’s ‘Subway’ (which isn’t nearly the film this one is. The chase scenes involving the antagonist called ‘Bootsie’ are fast, chaotic and have a resolution that you probably won’t see coming. I didn’t, at least.

The story is slightly surreal but retains an ‘earthy’ quality. The underground metaphor is a little bit simplistic, but still effective. I really clicked with this film and its characters.

Sandor Csanyi is memorable and instantly likeable in the lead. A hero with humility crosses over well in any language. The funny thing is, he plays a quiet lead so he doesn’t really say a whole lot in the film.

I’m always griping that as Hitchcock said, too many films ‘tell’ instead of ‘showing’. This movie doesn’t have that problem. You almost don’t need the subtitles.

Eszter Balla is too cute as the angelic and principled Szofi. All of the characters in Control are fun.

Cleverly written. Capably acted by a great cast of unfamiliar faces (at least by me and probably to most in this country). Deftly edited. Exquisitely shot. Artfully directed. Bravo! Great film!

I enjoyed this very much and have had many repeat viewings since it was first released. Its actually gotten better with repeat viewings. Highly recommended. It also made my list of Best Films of 2003.

4.5 of 5 whatevers.


One Response to “Kontroll Short Review (2004)”

  1. […] that did make the list: #20 I’m Not Scared #19 The Station Agent #18 The Italian Job #17 Kontroll #16 X2: X-Men United #15 The Matrix Reloaded #14 Matchstick Men #13 Master and Commander: The Far […]

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