2003 mysterious comedy

Rating: 16/20

Plot: A guy who's part of a crew in charge of making sure people riding the subway actually have tickets never leaves his subterranean dwelling. When a hooded figure starts pushing people in front of trains, fingers are pointed at him. Meanwhile, he starts to develop feelings for a girl in a bear costume.

My only gripes would be that this might be a little too angsty--and not in that charming 1980's way of being angsty--and an oppressive electronic soundtrack. I can't say the score didn't fit with the frenetic action sequences or the tone of some of the quieter scenes, but that still doesn't mean I have to like the music.

There's a lot to like about this. The characters are a collective of oddballs that you won't see in too many other movies. They're not well-rounded or anything, but it's a fun ensemble cast around our main character and make this sort of existential crisis he's going through easier to swallow. There's something Kafkian about both Bulcsu's main issues and the various subplots, and the shadowing underground setting, which the movie never leaves, fits in perfectly. The movie was filmed after hours in the Budapest Metro, and the dinginess, the wear and tear, the angles, the lighting, and the lack of lighting all contribute to create a terrific mood. Director Nimrod Antal (I should have named my son Nimrod) has a great eye although filming in a location like this might be cheating. It seems almost too easy to get great shots.

Kontroll is sometimes thrilling (one particular especially comes to mind), mysterious, and funny, but it's also a good thinking man's movie. I'd recommend it, especially if you're a fan of similar foreign, ultra-modern films. Stuff like Run, Lola, Run maybe.

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