Keywords: woman director
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After her husband dies, a woman questions her love for her husband and whether or not to accept money from the insurance policy. Tensions mount when her estranged son returns to the familial home with his girlfriend.
Uploaded by: FREEMAN
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First of all, it is always important to understand the context: during World War II the Soviet Union invaded Eastern Europe and established a communist dictatorship. The totalitarian dictatorship in Hungary loosened up somewhat by the late 1960s, but it was still an authoritarian rule. This is when and where the film takes place.
In the story Edit (Mari Torocsik) is the wife of an important politician, who suddenly passes away. She is expected to take on the widow role and live for his memory, but we learn that their marriage was not happy or intimate, so Edit would rather leave it all behind and forget about him, her villa, her social status. Her elder son, Istvan (Lajos Balazsovits) cannot let this happen - he represents not only traditional patriarchy but the authoritarian regime as well.
I'm not going to spoil the story; the point is that similarly to her previous film, The Girl (1968),Meszaros places the city characters into the countryside setting to highlight the contrast between the traditional and the new. This latter is of course represented by the younger people, particularly Istvan's younger brother and Istvan's girlfriend, Kati (Kati Kovacs - she is primarily an iconic singer rather than an actress). As I said, I won't tell you how the film unfolds, I'm just giving here some pointers.
What surprised me is that music is much more present than I expected; Meszaros already used beat music as the main theme in her previous film, but this time we also get our share of classical and folk music, making me think that the film might have worked out as a musical. Acting is low-key.
Overall, I think this can be paired up with The Girl (1968). Thematically and stylistically they are very similar, while each has different strengths and weaknesses. The literal translation of the title would be "halo effect".