However, Sandor, an entrepreneurial type, has his own problems: He owes 1 million forints to a hard-nosed mobster and is running late on his payments. In one of several unlikely turns to the yarn, the aforementioned mobster turns soft and offers his help in tracking down Bea. Meanwhile, the Albanians are heading south out of the country, renting out Bea as a piece of live meat in the back of their truck.
In its early stages, the movie sets up several intriguing strands: The trauma of the middle-class teen faced with events she can’t comprehend; the weak “new businessman” type Sandor; modern-day Hungary as a crossroads in Central Europe; and the need for individuals to solve their problems without recourse to law and order. But most receive only token development, with Bea herself (as well as the animals who’ve abducted her) remaining cipherlike to the end.
Particularly distracting are the scenes between Sandor and the mobster, which hold up the dramatic momentum and play far too theatrically amid the surrounding realism. Overall, there’s little sustained tension to drive the story forward, and pic falls short of director Pal Erdoss’ socially grounded dramas “The Princess,” “Countdown” and “A Light-Sensitive Story.”
Performances are functional to OK. Tech credits are good, with lenser Ferenc Pap hitting his stride in the exterior scenes set on the truck-filled highways. Pic’s Hungarian title roughly translates as “Murderous Mood.”