The Notebook (Hungary, 2013)

MCDNOTE EC045Directed by: János Szász. I had to see this movie for a real publication. As you can see, I thought it was pretty good…..that’s about it. I don’t mean to give the impression that I didn’t like it, because I did, but I’m not sure what else to say about it. I think I have to really be in the mood for a moody, arty, European coming-of-age story, but this is a great one of those, as far as those things go. It’s genuinely a pretty interesting inversion of the usual treatment: as I said in the other review, the stern, scary Nazi major turns out to be one of the less threatening characters. And really, the entire dynamic of relationships for the boys does a complete 180 by the time the movie’s done. And perhaps this makes the film truly brilliant—that it’s able to convey the chaos of war in an immersive, believable way that morphs and changes with the actual plot of the story, in a lived way that doesn’t rely on some preconceived notion of good and bad. We just know what these boys know, and by the end of the movie (and by the end of the war), we know that their parents are not going to help them in this fucked up world, and that they’re better off hacking it out on their own. And, although (thankfully) the film doesn’t fill in those blanks for us, I have a pretty good feeling that those kids are going to be okay. (Although, I guess those fictional boys are going to come of age in post-WWII Hungary, which I’m sure was no fucking picnic, but irregardless….)


2 responses to “The Notebook (Hungary, 2013)

  1. Pingback: List of Judgements, Anno Domini 2014 | Offhand Reviews·

  2. Pingback: Son of Saul (Hungary, 2015) | Offhand Reviews·

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