Director: Kornél Mundruczó
Writers: Kornél Mundruczó, Viktória Petrányi, Kata Wéber
Cast: Zsófia Psotta, Sándor Zsótér, Lili Horváth
UK Release Date: 27th February 2015
I think I really expected a lot more from this one, I’m not going to lie; I was a little let down with this movie. This may be because I’ve seen other films in the ‘World Cinema’ genre that has tackled similar subject matter but far more better and more ambitiously. As the first foreign language film I’ve watched this year, I did expect the story to be more engaging than it was. Maybe it deserves a repeated viewing and I’m judging too harshly but as a first time viewing I was just unable to connect with it as much.
The story centres around Lili, a 13 year old girl, who loves and protects Hagen, her big, loveable mixed breed dog, more than anything else in the world; and puts him first place before both her music school lessons and her strict and way too serious father. After she disobediently refuses to listen to her dad on several occasions about not being able to keep the dog while she stays with him in his flat on a short term basis, he chucks Hagen out on the streets. Distraught and angry, while not a person to forgive and forget so easily, Lili searches day and night to be reunited with Hagen once again.
I’ll say if you don’t like watching canines getting poorly mistreated and have cruelty inflicted upon them by human beings on screen then this film isn’t for you. It sounds disturbing enough and it most certainly is, but its been done similarly to an even further shocking effect in other foreign films such as Amores Perros; especially during the vicious dogfighting scenes. I also feel I’m in the majority by admitting that the canines depicted in this film act better than the human actors do, and are evidently smarter.
Also, why is it absolutely no one in Hungary really likes dogs with nothing more than a narrow minded view of looking upon them as simply flea carrying dirty mutts that should be either put down or drugged and transformed into vicious, violent killing machines after falling into the wrong hands?
2 out of 5