Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Original title: Teströl és lélekröl
Hungary, 2017. Inforg-M&M Film Kft.. Screenplay by Ildikó Enyedi. Cinematography by Máté Herbai. Produced by Ernö Mesterházy, András Muhi, Mónika Mécs. Music by Adam Balazs. Production Design by Imola Láng. Costume Design by Judit Sinkovics. Film Editing by Károly Szalai. Academy Awards 2017. Berlin Film Festival 2017. European Film Awards 2017. Toronto International Film Festival 2017.
A richly photographed film with as many quirky oddities as rich, emotional moments that amount to a very satisfying experience. A series of gorgeously shot dreams in which he is a deer encountering a mate in the forest make the manager of a slaughterhouse very pensive in his waking hours. He meets the new quality control manager, an above-average intelligent woman with a very severe manner, and through a chance encounter with the same company therapist, they discover that she has been having the same dreams as him. Their attempt to make something significant out of this mystical connection defies her being very comfortable with a lifetime spent cut off from humanity, and his few conflicts with his own post-heartbreak isolation, and leads to some very difficult and tragic encounters that are told with comic mastery by director Ildiko Enyedi. Even the highly controlled shots that turn the workplace into a series of cold geometric designs contribute to a dark sense of humour, the film a slow and steady burn that is also intense and sexy. The performances are terrific, especially Alexandra Borbély who, as the heroine, expertly displays great depths of repressed desire under her porcelain gaze.