For his feature debut, L.A.-born Hungary resident Nimród Antal made Kontroll, a farcical look at the Budapest subway system, about the crazy ticket agents who earn their living there and the hostile citizens they deal with on a daily basis. At the center of it all is Bulcsú (Sándor Csányi), a quiet fellow who leads his ragtag crew that includes the Professor (Zoltán Mucsi), the nagging, burned-out elder of the group; Muki (Csaba Pindroch), the goofy narcoleptic; the disheveled Lecsó (Sándor Badár); and the naďvely gung-ho new guy, Tibi (Zsolt Nagy). Bulcsú and his guys can't compete with the likes of Gonzó's (Balázs Mihályfi) top-notch crew, who gets all the perks and the best assignments. They're more concerned with just getting through each day in one piece, and it isn't always easy. In addition to the annoyed riders who bicker over having to show their tickets and passes, there's Bootsie (Bence Mátyássy), an energetic young man who plays pranks on the agents and runs very fast, and Sofie (Eszter Balla), the odd young woman who shows up on the train in a bear costume everyday and never pays her fare. Worst of all, there's a dark and mysterious figure who's been pushing unsuspecting riders in front of oncoming trains with predictably grisly results. His superiors begin to suspect Bulcsú when they realize he's been living in the system, spending his nights sleeping on the platforms, and never venturing above ground. Kontroll won Le Prix de la Jeunesse at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. It was also selected by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art for inclusion in the 2005 edition of New Directors/New Films. … More
- R (for language, some violence and brief sexuality)
- Drama , Action & Adventure , Art House & International , Mystery & Suspense
- Directed By:
- Nimród Antal
- Written By:
- Krisztina Kelemen , Jim Adler , Nimród Antal
- In Theaters:
- Apr 1, 2005 Limited
- On DVD:
- Aug 30, 2005
- Box Office:
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Critic Reviews for Kontroll
You don't need a deep, dark forest to tell an unsettling fable about the struggle for freedom or the battles waged between the shadows and the things that glow.
As a group of episodes, the movie keeps our interest not by linear plot, but by finely drawn characterizations.
Antal keenly juggles black comedy, character types and genre styles, making the most of the weird angles and inherent dark creepiness of his chosen backdrop.
It's not a perfect film by any means, but it certainly succeeds quite well in telling its tale with enough charm and gore to keep thing interesting.
Even though we spend the entire film underground, Hungary has never looked more buoyant.
Though the film is crowd-pleasing enjoyable, it never fully brings in enough light to its underground setting to completely satisfy as a fully realized work.
This is supremely confident filmmaking for a newcomer, and should give Antal a one-way ticket to bigger things.
Antal proudly wears Tarantino influences, lingering in humorous conversations that race out on tangents, adding flavor to characters while also subtly developing themes.
Antal has a bright future.
Os personagens e o próprio conceito do filme săo interessantes, mas o fraco roteiro acaba desperdiçando o potencial do projeto e a boa direçăo do estreante Antal.
The constant gear-changing -- or tonal shifts -- may put some audience members off a bit. But it also has style to burn, and most of the cast is appealing, especially the brooding Csanyi, and Balla, whose sunny presence brightens up the dark proceedings.
Writer-director Nimrod Antal shifts from breakneck action to thoughtful romance ..., as he reveals a colorful and chaotic underground.
Debut writer-director Nimród Antal uses the anti-hero Bulcsú (Sándor Csányi) as an effective symbol of repressed rebellion.
You might wonder at the end what happened to the plot, but the mood, characters and look are so striking that you really won't miss it.
Kontroll throws beaucoup intriguing mysteries at us, but the solutions aren't worth the trip.
[S]elf-assured, totally enrapturing... makes you realize how few directors achieve such a necessary confidence in their own hocus pocus...
Audience Reviews for Kontroll
Solid film about a crew of subway control officers working in the underworld that is the Budapest subway system. The film works as a dark comedy and very gritty thriller.
As mentioned, the film is set entirely within the Budapest subway system. Our main characters are a team of control officers, responsible for checking the tickets for every subway train passenger, due to the subway working by way of the honor system. The lead role belongs to Sándor Csányi, who plays Bulcsu, a man that has been down, underground for way too long. Bulcsu manages to meet a woman, have gritty adventures with his fellow workers, and spend time with an old train diver. While the plot is somewhat episodic, there is the matter of a hooded figure, who is pushing people onto the tracks.
The film was directed by Nimrod Antal, a Hungarian, who has since made a couple simple thrillers, Vacancy and Armored, and is currently working on the Robert Rodriguez produced Predators film. I mention Rodriguez, because Antal strikes me as a guy who works very much like him. His films are low budget, efficiently made, and manage to have a slick feel; delivering a lot with a little. This film is no different, working in one location and making the most with it.
There is a good amount of creativity at play here, and I enjoyed it.
Szofi: [at subway vending machines] Nice place. Come here often?
Bulcsú: Only when I really want to impress a girl.
A crew of borderline-incompetent subway cops ('Kontrollers') deal with abusive commuters, a rash of apparent suicides, and dense symbolism. Shot entirely in the Budapest subway, this accomplished debut mixes elements of comedy, romance, thrillers, and obscure arthouse allegory into a narrative that, against all odds, works.More
dark dark dark and funny low budget thriller set in the budapest underground with a host of oddball characters. i really enjoyed thisMore
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