Neither all the king's horses nor all the king's men, nor a crack team of production and costume designers could put together compelling entertainment from Geza Beremenyi's doggedly didactic Magyar epic, "The Bridgeman." Only a rousing bridge collapse three-quarters through exudes any real liveliness.

Neither all the king’s horses nor all the king’s men, nor a crack team of production and costume designers could put together compelling entertainment from Geza Beremenyi’s doggedly didactic Magyar epic, “The Bridgeman.” Although no forint was spared in recreating the bejeweled period splendor, only a rousing bridge collapse three-quarters through exudes any real liveliness. “Bridgeman” won’t span to many theatrical or fest shores.

Pic chronicles four decades in the life of a Hungarian aristocrat (Karoly Eperjes) who advocated an independent Hungary, thereby becoming the chief nemesis of the Habsburg monarchy. Digging no deeper than easily provoked nationalistic sentiments, “Bridgeman” is a dull take on seemingly exciting, blood-drenched history — perhaps the most stultifying historical-political pic since Sacha Guitry’s 1954 “Royal Affairs in Versailles.” Eperjes is committed in the lead, but only pic’s final reels make any interesting demands on him.

The Bridgeman

Hungary

Production

A Filmart Studio Ltd./NET Entertainment/Hungarian Television/Mafilm production. Produced by Jeno Habermann. Directed by Geza Beremenyi. Screenplay, Beremenyi, Can Togay.

Crew

Camera (color), Sabdor Kardos; editor, Teri Losonci; art director, Gyula Pauer; Gyorgyi Szakacs; sound, Gyorgy Kovacs. Reviewed at Hungarian Film Festival, Beverly Hills, Nov. 23, 2002. Original title: A hidember. Running time: 142 MIN.

With

Karoly Eperjes, Irina Latchina, Marius Bodochi, Gyorgy Cserhalmi, Ervin Nagy, Ivan Darvas, Laszlo Sinko, Adel Kovats, Can Togay, Janos Derzsi.
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