Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Review of 'Budapest Noir'

This was something of a disappointment. I'd been really looking forward to it since seeking Réka Tenki in On Body and Soul, where she was great. I'd watched the trailer and saw how atmospheric it looked, and I had high hopes.

It did look great; Budapest is very photogenic and it's beautifully shot. But the script and the plot really let it down. Our hero is an implausibly well-connected crime reporter. There's a bit of an antisemitism theme, but it's incidental to the plot, more for colour than anything else.

 It's as if someone decided that they would put in everything that could possibly go into a film noir, and that somehow it would all come together. But it doesn't. The plot just about hangs together but it sort of plods along...there isn't much suspense or feeling of mystery; and once we've got used to secondary characters being slaughtered while our hero remains implausibly untouched, there isn't any noir-like feeling of menace. Also, while I love the kind of Jazz that is typically associated with noir, I felt that the soundtrack ought to have been more Cabaret and less LA Confidential. And Réka Tenki's character isn't all that interesting.

Watched at Woodford Odeon, as part of the UK Jewish Film Festival.

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