After a rather unnecessary prologue, which segues from black-and-white to color as a narrator sets the scene, film proper begins in the apartment of an elderly, long-married couple, beautifully portrayed by Magyar vets Ivan Darvas and Hedi Temessy. The wife makes her husband tea before they go for a walk in the park, visit a cafe, sit for a while on a bench and then head for home — a trip interrupted by a sudden heart attack that strikes down the old man.
During this brief period of time, they say little to each other (there’s some talk about a dead son, and the wife has to correct her husband when he wrongly remembers the color of the son’s eyes) — and yet the fine actors convey volumes about a lifetime spent in one another’s company.
Peripheral characters are introduced who obliquely touch the lives of the central couple, notably a teenager who takes his girlfriend to a room in the house he says his grandparents once owned (they may be the old couple, but this isn’t spelled out), and the boy’s mother, a telephone operator who receives a call from a man seeking a woman he hasn’t seen for 20 years — presumably, this is the teenager’s father.
The film’s bookends could be disposed of to advantage, but otherwise this gentle, poetic film, with its beautifully framed and lit images and its haunting , jazzy soundtrack (mostly sax, clarinet and cello) provides a small but very satisfying experience.