Review: ‘Miracle Film’

Magyar d.p. Elemer Ragalyi moves into the director's chair for genial rags-to-riches tale "Miracle Film." The story of a bum in the Budapest subway who inherits a sprawling resort hotel on the island paradise of Crete is at once too predictable and culture-specific to travel far, though feel-good nature of the David-and-Goliath dynamic should perform divinely in ancillary.

Magyar d.p. Elemer Ragalyi moves into the director’s chair for genial rags-to-riches tale “Miracle Film.” The story of a bum in the Budapest subway who inherits a sprawling resort hotel on the island paradise of Crete is at once too predictable and culture-specific to travel far, though feel-good nature of the David-and-Goliath dynamic should perform divinely in ancillary.

While ambling around a bustling station with his chums, homeless Nikos (co-scripter Andras Kern) is shocked to learn from a pair of Greek lawyers that a long-estranged uncle has bequeathed him ownership of a lush vacation spot (conspicuous signage of the real-life owners suggests much in-kind bartering on the part of the filmmakers). Initially reluctant to give up al fresco sleeping and his fragrant wardrobe, Nikos clashes with cold and capable manager Eleni (Katerina Didaskalou), but their eventual merger is never in doubt. The best bits involve the societal gulf between moneyed tourists and Nikos’ ratty pals from home, who, upon arrival, promptly change into garish, mismatched beachwear. Ragalyi’s work is confidently polished, the perfs pleasingly unforced. Pic’s recent domestic opening trumped Magyar debuts of “After the Sunset” and “Vera Drake.”

Miracle Film

Hungary

Production

A HungariCom release (in Hungary) of a Megafilm, RTL Klub, Blonde production. (International sales: Magyar Filmunio, Budapest.) Produced by Gabor Kalomista. Directed by Elemer Ragalyi. Screenplay, Andras Kern, Ragalyi.

Crew

Camera (color), Ragalyi; editor, Teri Losonczi; music, Viktor Rakonczai. Reviewed at Hungarian Film Week, Budapest, Feb. 7, 2005. Original title: Csudafilm. Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Katerina Didaskalou, Andras Kern, Peter Rudolf, Sandor Badar, Janos Derzsi.
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