Shrewdly grafting Western genre elements to central European social concerns, “Konets” is a droll dramedy about a pair of seventysomethings on an inadvertent robbery spree and the bickering cop couple sent on their trail. Look for this quiet, funny charmer on the fest circuit, with arthouse biz and even remake action in the cards.
Period prelude establishes that senior citizens Emil Kis (popular TV actor Emil Keres) and Hedi Felleghy (Teri Foldi) first met when the former, a chauffeur, sheltered the latter during the volatile mid-1950s.
Cut to the present, where they’ve now fallen on hard times. At the wheel of his beloved vintage limo, nicknamed Windbird, slow but steady Emil begins a series of bank heists and gas station robberies, with the agreeable Hedi as his accomplice. The crimes capture the imagination of the nation, which dubs them the Blood Money Pensioners.
Meanwhile, ramshackle young cop Andor (Zoltan Schmied) is in the doghouse with g.f. and fellow officer Agi (Judit Schell), and with police brass for just being a general hothead and screw-up. Bickering all the while, the pair set out in lukewarm pursuit of the fatigued felons, who’ve somehow managed to relieve the mob of a sizeable sum.
While unmistakably Eastern European in approach to standards of living now and then, a strong dash of Hollywood genre wit aligns the pic equally with comrades and the Coens. Sharply drawn supporting characters flesh out the satisfying story, and first-time helmer Gabor Rohonyi brings a no-nonsense focus to the proceedings that allows the leading quartet to shine both individually and as an ensemble.
Pic’s done modest biz since Jan. 11 domestic bow. Original Magyar and current English title on print caught are both phonetic spellings of the Russian word for “end.” Some English-language press material also refers to title as synonymous but misleading “Finito.”
Tech package is discreetly accomplished.