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Chameleon

An injured ballerina does a pas de deux with a handsome swindler in "Chameleon," helmer Krisztina Goda's return to contempo fare.

An injured ballerina does a pas de deux with a handsome swindler in “Chameleon,” helmer Krisztina Goda’s return to contempo fare after her historical spectacle “Children of Glory.” Lushly lensed tale of a Magyar con man who tricks emotionally vulnerable women into setting up a joint account he subsequently empties is a fun diversion largely because of its charismatic actors, whose work papers over the occasional longueur and cliche. Pic did solid biz at home last winter and will rep Hungary in the foreign-language film Oscar race.

Helmer debuted with laffer “Just Sex and Nothing Else” and now returns to that mold, even casting local star Sandor Csanyi again as a braggadocio thesp. However, the focus is on Gabor (Ervin Nagy), who uses his good looks and the references provided by pal Tibi (Zsolt Trill) to con women. Things go haywire when Gabor can’t resist wealthy ballerina Hanna (Gabriella Hamori), despite Tibi’s warnings. Story lacks surprises but Nagy and Hamori sustain interest, while Janos Kulka’s turn as a gay doctor adds color. As with Goda’s other work, the pic has a glossy finish, with diffused lighting and gently gliding camerawork.

Chameleon

Hungary

  • Production: A Megafilm, M&M Film, RTL Klub presentation and production. (International sales: Hungaricom, Budapest.) Produced by Gabor Kalomista, Monica Meks, Erno Mesterhazy. Executive producer, Gyorgy Santa. Directed by Krisztina Goda. Screenplay, Reka Divinyi, Goda.
  • Crew: Camera (color), Tamas Babos, Buda Gulyas; editor, Zoltan Kovacs; music, Gabor Madarasz; production designer, Janos Szabolcs; costume designer, Andrea Flesh. Reviewed on DVD, Luxembourg, June 12, 2009. (In Cannes Film Festival -- market; Hungarian Film Week -- competing; Shanghai Film Festival -- competing.) Running time: 103 MIN.
  • With: <b>With:</b> Ervin Nagy, Zsolt Trill, Gabriella Hamori, Janos Kulka, Sandor Csanyi, Laszlo Zsolt.
  • Music By: