Four years in the making, the new film from the acclaimed Hungarian filmmaker Bela Tarr is an adaptation of a novel by thriller writer Georges Simenon. Maloin leads a simple life as a railway signalman, barely registering the world around him. His life takes a sudden turn when he becomes a witness to a murder and he is forced to confront issues of morality, sin, punishment and the line between innocence and complicity. Exploring themes of desire, greed and mans indestructible longing for freedom, this hypnotic film bears the distinctive trademarks of Tarrs universe, fluid and stunning monochrome photography, pared-down dialogue and performances, and a hauntingly beautiful score by long-time Tarr collaborator Mihaly Vig.
Powerful images but flawed.
- The Man from London review by RM
Watching this film is an endurance test. It could have been a masterpiece as the photography is superb in places but long dragged out shots and some arty farty scenes spoil the plot. Simenon who created Maigret wrote some down beat crime novels and this is one of them but the director has got carried away with the film noir style which overpowers the characters who seem detached from the events. Overlong frozen camera shots of gloomy faces, with a monotonous soundtrack take the edge off the film. The run time is wrongly indicated here it is 134 min not 90.
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.
- The Man from London review by Steve Mason
About as mainstream as the great Hungarian director ever got. Tarr's characteristic slow moving camera, the repetitive industrial rattle and clang and absurd characterisations are all intact. But this is a thriller from a Simenon story. Like all Tarr's work, unique, beautiful, and utterly strange.
0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.
Great photography, but overlong, obscure and dull
- The Man from London review by AL
Watching this film felt like shuffling in shackles through an exhibition of exceptionally fine monochrome photographs arranged in a vague narrative sequence, while a large animal issued an interminable cry of pain from the bottom of a well nearby. The overwhelming sensation upon the arrival of the final credits was one of relief.