Review: ‘The Woman’

Based on real events, which have already been made into a documentary film by directors Janos Erdelyi and Dezso Zsigmond, "The Woman" is a modest suspense pic that unfolds in a small village in the months that follow the failed 1956 revolution against Communist rule in Hungary. Solid production values and a certain amount of simmering suspense and erotic tension should make this acceptable fodder for Eurotube programming, with wider exposure unlikely.

Based on real events, which have already been made into a documentary film by directors Janos Erdelyi and Dezso Zsigmond, “The Woman” is a modest suspense pic that unfolds in a small village in the months that follow the failed 1956 revolution against Communist rule in Hungary. Solid production values and a certain amount of simmering suspense and erotic tension should make this acceptable fodder for Eurotube programming, with wider exposure unlikely.

The woman at the center of the drama is the peasant wife of a political fugitive. She hides her man in a tiny space below the wooden floor of the duck shed on her parents’ farm, and the ruse works at first.

But time goes on, and the fugitive chafes at his confinement. From his tiny prison, he’s able to see his family but is unable to live a normal life. To add to his woes, a nosy customs official who has a yen for the beautiful wife often makes unexpected visits to the farm. After a while, the frustrated femme succumbs to the official’s charms.

Anna Gyorgyi gives a strong portrayal as the brave but increasingly lonely wife. Karoly Eperjes has little to work with in his literally confined role, and Gyorgy Dorner isn’t sufficiently threatening as the customs investigator. The filmmakers could have done a lot more with this potentially explosive theme, which would have made steamy material for Tennessee Williams in his heyday.

Production values are all first-rate.

The Woman

(HUNGARIAN)

Production

An MTV Dramai Studio/Cinemart production, supported by Magyar Tortenelmi Film. Produced by Eva Schulze. Directed by Janos Erdelyi, Dezso Zsigmond. Screenplay, Erdelyi, Zsigmond, Joszef Balazs.

Crew

Camera (color), Peter Jankura; editor, Gabriella Koncz; music, Ferenc Darvas; production design, Istvan Galambos, Karoly Veer; costumes, Peter Palotas; sound, Peter Pecsi. Reviewed at Hungarian Film Week, Budapest, Feb. 10, 1996. Running time: 83 MIN.

With

With: Anna Gyorgyi, Karoly Eperjes, Gyorgy Dorner, Anna Nagy, Miklos B. Szekely.
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