Review: ‘This I Wish and Nothing More’

Kornel Mundruczo's "This I Wish and Nothing More" expends a good deal of energy and atmosphere on a script that doesn't quite add up. Murky tale of a young bisexual hustler seems more interested in shock value than psychological credibility: Despite the title, we never have the faintest idea just what protag wants from life.

Kornel Mundruczo’s “This I Wish and Nothing More” expends a good deal of energy and atmosphere on a script that doesn’t quite add up. Murky tale of a young bisexual hustler seems more interested in shock value than psychological credibility: Despite the title, we never have the faintest idea just what protag wants from life, though his flailings are stylishly handled. Promising debut suggests Mundruczo (who’s already made a second feature, “Afta”) as a talent to watch, even if this exercise probably won’t travel far afield.

Handsome, body beautiful Bruno (Ervin Nagy) is surly and evasive, yet he manages to keep three partners desperate for whatever attention they can get. Wife Mari (Martina Kovacs) is a gymnast who lives with Bruno in the country; their occasional roommate Ringo (Roland Raba) is a skinheaded, sometimes cross-dressing live wire who accompanies Bruno on tricking and petty theft missions to Budapest; a middle-aged married man (Imre Csuja) is both Bruno’s sexual client and oft-exasperated helpmate.

Pretentious verbiage occasionally clogs action that’s most effective as a series of high octane (if often gratuitous) visual flourishes, with techno music as thumping accompaniment. Among more outre scenes are one in which Bruno is forced to perform a striptease for two female cops (which he does like a pro), and another where he and Ringo satisfy a customer’s bizarre vacuum-pump fetish.

Somewhat confusing, fragmentary screenplay leaves unsympathetic protag an angry young cipher doomed to a violent end. It’s hard to care, given shortage of character depth and situational logic here. Nonetheless, pic’s experimental fillips, excitable editing and vivid photography lend low-budget pic an undeniable surface panache.

This I Wish and Nothing More

Hungary

Production

A Budapest Film presentation of a Com-Art Film, Laurinfilm and Pioneer Prods. production. Produced by Viktoria Petranyi, Zsofia Kende, Nota Petak, Gyorgy Durst. Directed by Kornel Mundruczo. Screenplay, Farkas Hegyi, Mundruczo, Viktoria Petranyi.

Crew

Camera (color, HD video), Szilard Makkos; editor, Bela Barsi; music, Gabor Bruzsa, Csaba Faltay, Szofia Taller; production designer, Ernese Toth; costumes, Lilla Khoor. Reviewed on videocassette, San Francisco, June 13, 2001. (In San Francisco Lesbian & Gay Film Festival.) Running time: 80 MIN.

With

Ervin Nagy, Roland Raba, Martina Kovacs, Imre Csuja, Agi Szirtes.
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