Review: ‘Jo Ejt, Kiralyfi’

Reviewed at Hungarian Film Week, Budapest, Feb. 6, 1994. Running time: 80 MIN.

Reviewed at Hungarian Film Week, Budapest, Feb. 6, 1994. Running time: 80 MIN.

Would-be filmmakers working on a vidpic in the streets of Budapest is the subject of the latest slice of life from Janos Rozsa, whose work has often dealt sympathetically with young people (“Sunday Daughters,””Brats”). Here, he captures the mood of a clutch of cinephiles whose efforts are inevitably doomed, but a stronger screenplay was sorely needed.

Rozsa’s young hero is Szabolcs Hajdu, newly arrived in Budapest (“the city of refugees”) from the provinces; he flunked his exams, but the aspiring actor brings with him a video of his performance as Hamlet in a school production.

He goes to stay with relatives, including a still-attractive aunt (Dorottya Udvaros), and is soon playing the lead in a no-budget vid flick being shot, without permission, on the city streets. The resourceful team even sets up a police car chase for the purpose of filming, without letting the cops in on the secret.

It all ends in tragedy (as is foreshadowed by the film’s title, a misquote from the end of “Hamlet”), but not before Hajdu has entered into an unexpected, and quite sensual, affair with his aunt.

A better-constructed screenplay could have made much more of these interesting characters and situations, but Rozsa does an efficient job of direction given the weak material. Performances are all fine, especially vet Udvaros as the middle-aged woman who blossoms visibly after sex with a boy who’s young enough to be her son.

Technical credits are all pro.

Jo Ejt, Kiralyfi

Production

An Objektiv Filmstudio production. Produced by Gabriella Grosz. Directedby Janos Rozsa. Screenplay, Istvan Kardos.

Crew

Camera (color), Tibor Mathe; editor, Zsusza Csakany; music, Gabor Presser; production design, Jozsef Romvari; sound, Andras Vamosi.
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