The first feature helmed by the daughter of director Livia Gyarmathy (who co-produced her offspring’s pic) and writer Geza Boszormenyi, “Red Colibri” starts off promisingly as a romantic thriller — something of a rarity on the Hungarian film scene — but soon loses direction and credibility. This Italian co-production, though it shows Zsuzsa Boszormenyi’s promise as a director, needs a tighter, more credible screenplay to succeed.
Anna, played by Italo thesp Barbara De Rossi, who is well dubbed into Hungarian, is separated from her husband and is bringing up her 8-year-old daughter. She works as a taxi driver, and one day witnesses an armed robbery at a gas station. The robbers turn out to be refugees from the Ukraine, and she helps one of them, the handsome young Andrei (Branislav Tesanovic) escape.
It seems Andrei is a ballet dancer who hopes to find work in Budapest. Anna lets him stay with her, and they soon become lovers, while he finds a job at a seedy strip club, the Red Colibri (colibri is a kind of bird), which is run by fellow Ukrainians. Anna becomes involved with the strippers who work at the club , too, as well as with the gangster who runs the place, though here the script starts to get murky, and, by the time of the film’s non-climax, Anna’s actions have become inexplicable.
As a director, Boszormenyi shows a good sense of style and pacing, but the screenplay seriously lets her down, rendering the film an intriguing oddity as a rarelook at Budapest low-life. Tech credits are fine.