Review: ‘Bedlam’

If Kevin Smith, or maybe Quentin Tarantino, had directed "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World," entirely on the grounds of an eastern European apartment complex, the results would look very much like adrenalized yet overplotted action comedy "Bedlam." Sophomore feature from ambitious young Polish-Hungarian helmer Zsombor Dyga is all hometown-targeted tactile flash, suggesting progressive fest play and regional success but little theatrical biz outside region.

If Kevin Smith, or maybe Quentin Tarantino, had directed “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World,” entirely on the grounds of an eastern European apartment complex, the results would look very much like adrenalized yet overplotted action comedy “Bedlam.” Sophomore feature from ambitious young Polish-Hungarian helmer Zsombor Dyga is all hometown-targeted tactile flash, suggesting progressive fest play and regional success but little theatrical biz outside region.

A young bank robber impulsively steels the purse of a passerby en route to the getaway car. Caper soon swells to include some 16 principals, various hustlers, cynics and oddballs all working at cross purposes to nab the bag. Dyga, whose debut feature “Bro'” garnered him the best first screenplay award at the 2003 Hungarian Film Week, mixes three leads from that romantic comedy with more seasoned thesps in parts written specifically for them. Of the vets, Peter Scherer shines as a tightly-wrapped former soccer star. Tech package is trim, with most craftsmen also returning from first film. Dyga grew up in this housing estate, and has a firm command of space and timing that almost negates labored narrative.

Bedlam

Hungary

Production

A Budapest Film release (in Hungary) of a Duna, Mediawave 2000, Akna Film production. Produced by Gyorgy Durst. Directed by Zsombor Dyga. Screenplay, Dyga, Balazs Lovas.

Crew

Camera (color), Arpad Horvath; editor, Judit Czako. Reviewed at Hungarian Film Week, Budapest, Feb. 8, 2005. Original title: Kesz cirkusz! Running time: 74 MIN.

With

Gabor Welker, Ferenc Elek, Zoltan Schmied, Imre Csuja, Peter Scherer, Eszter Onodi.
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