Bahrtalo!

Two opportunists test their patience as well as the audience's in the Hungarian oddity "Bahrtalo!" Docu-fiction hybrid from helmer Robert Lakatos, who reportedly met the real-life leads in a bar, is about two traveling friends who are eternally looking for ways to make money, and who both want to have the last word.

With:
With: Lorand Boros, Gabor Lajos.

Two opportunists test their patience as well as the audience’s in the Hungarian oddity “Bahrtalo!” Docu-fiction hybrid from helmer Robert Lakatos, who reportedly met the real-life leads in a bar, is about two traveling friends who are eternally looking for ways to make money, and who both want to have the last word. Pic is refreshingly honest in its warts-and-all portrayal of friendship, though its lack of narrative hooks and genuine comedic sparks will make this a hard sell anywhere.

Lori (Lorand Boros), a Transylvanian Hungarian, and Lali (Gabor Lajos), a Gypsy, buy whatever they can resell for a profit. Despite all their heated arguments, there’s a clear, underlying affection between them, even if the friendship never develops into anything warranting the audience’s interest. A director like Tony Gatlif might have molded them into a fascinating odd couple, but Lakatos wrings neither drama nor comedy from the duo. Shot over several years, pic feels as aimless as its protags, who wander from Transylvania to Vienna, Egypt and back. Score by Romany band Szaszcsavas suits pic’s rambling nature; print caught looked extremely dark in places. Title is Romany for “Good Luck!”

Bahrtalo!

Hungary

Production: An Inforg Studio production, in association with Nikolaus Geyrhalter Filmproduction, Intuit Pictures. (International sales: Taskovski Films, London.) Produced by Andras Muhi. Co-producers, Nikolaus Geyrhalter, Markus Glaser, Michel Kitzberger, Wolfgang Wiederhoffer, Sandor Soth. Directed, written by Robert Lakatos.

Crew: Camera (color, HD-to-35mm), Gyorgy Reder; editor, Agi Mogor, Ferenc Szabo; music, Szaszcsavas Band. Reviewed at Karlovy Vary Film Festival (East of the West), July 11, 2008. Hungarian, Romany dialogue. Running time: 83 MIN.

With: With: Lorand Boros, Gabor Lajos.

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