Dear Elza!


Drama / War

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
962.21 MB
Hungarian 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 44 min
P/S 14 / 33
1.93 GB
Hungarian 5.1
23.976 fps
1 hr 44 min
P/S 15 / 31

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by victorandrews-203928 / 10

A subtle, intense film

SPOILER: This is of course basically a WW2 (or Great Patriotic War) war film: Hungarian soldier gets caught by Soviet forces, forced into a penal battalion, and everything proceeds from there. Since there would be no movie if he got blown up early, he survives being a 'trampler' and does not end up killed or maimed by a mine - the very mines his 'side' in the war has laid for the Soviets. Any war movie has to be judged by the quality of action scenes and views of movements, fight scenes, use of ammunition and military hardware. This is quite skilfully done - although this is a Hungarian movie we actually see mostly Soviet fighters in action, except for the occasional Hungarians and Germans, one Italian prisoner, and some snipers. Nothing about the brutality and violence of war, down to the brutal questioning of prisoners and a rape scene, is ignored or toned down. To some extent, you could say this movie is about identity: how do I know where right and wrong may actually be? Why should I hate the enemy? Isn't it logical for Russians to hate me since I was part of the group that invaded their motherland? All this is well done, but the most innovative part may reside in the Jewish- Hungarian deserter, an older man, who has gone over to the Soviets and plays the part of Lombos Mihaly's conscience, unless it is the devil - a very convincing part with the appropriate chiaroscuro filming choices most of the time. It might be appropriate to deal with the devil since after all Lombos, who has repeatedly been denied a furlough, is going down through several circles of Hell here. Some are obvious (the land mines),some are more psychological (could his wife cheat with an officer and have his name kept out of the list for furloughs, hoping he'd die?). Some Hungarian commentators have raised the notion they did not like the movie because it was more like a Soviet movie extolling the greatness of the red Army, political commissars included, rather than the value of the Hungarian soldiers and officers, whom we actually see only briefly, mostly at the beginning. Since Hungarians were Nazi allies, it is of course a touchy proposition to extol the virtues of the Hungarian army in WW2. In the end, and without spoiling a somewhat surprising ending, what remains is an individual's attempt at surviving and discovering himself through tough war experiences and with the on and off advice of a devil-like figure. This is certainly a movie worth seeing. The end and the beginning offer short moments that are completely out of the war setting making the philosophical choices even more obvious, as well as the function of a diary Lombos Mihaly writes in at odd times. Th musical score and the few songs, particularly at the beginning and the end, are remarkable. Even watching mostly with subtitles, since the soundtrack and dialogues are in Hungarian, Russian, and a little German and Italian.

Reviewed by maverick-849247 / 10

Another Different War Movie

Dear Elza! or (Drága Elza! in Hungarian) is the story of a Hungarian soldier fighting on the Eastern Front who is captured by the Russians and sent to a penal battalion.

Like the Russian film, White Tiger, it attempts to provide a dramatic, symbolic message about military duty & survival with slightly supernatural overtones and, like the former, is let down by that very mechanic.

Whilst it's portrayal of Lombos Mihály's time within the Russian penal battalion seems authentic enough, the use of the old Jewish- Hungarian deserter as Lombos' conscience (or the Devil depending on your interpretation of the final scenes) is clumsy.

The penultimate scene where Mihály finally decides to escape climaxes with a fight between him and the NKVD officer in charge of his unit, he is saved by the deserter attacking the officer, allowing Mihály to go through the final moments of the scene. Since we later find that the deserter didn't, in fact, exist in the first instance, one is forced to ask how this imaginary figure saved our hero in the first instance.

The film reminds one of the Sixth Sense, where there will be those who would stridently demand that they knew the deserter was a figment in the first instance and, with the benefit of hindsight, go to great lengths to point out the 'obvious' clues within the movie.

Other plot holes such as Mihály's explanation that his entries into his journal were when he decided to kill his wife back in Hungary aren't explained or whether or not he made it back to Hungary posing as a Russian soldier aren't touched upon, leaving one feeling rather bewildered.

Had they stuck to a regular story of this soldier's capture and subsequent war within the penal battalion without the moralistic overtones, I believe the film would have had a greater appeal.

Reviewed by mchenrykrm7 / 10

Overall well made war movie

I found this gem on a random search of one of my favorite genres, Russian war movies.

I hesitated because it was Hungarian made and I have seen some bad Hungarian war films but this one piqued my interest after I watched a few minutes.

It touches a part of the war not often seen in films. Mainly non- German troops that tool part in the invasion of Russia. There were Romanian, Hungarian, Italian and even a smattering of anti communist French troops that took part.

The protagonist Lombos, is a Hungarian soldier fighting for the Axis. He is prevented from going on home on leave by some unknown bureaucratic mistake and ends up a prisoner of the Russians. He is forced to walk through mine fields at risk of stepping on one to find safe paths for his captors. A old man who appears to be a Hungarian fighting for the Russians offers advice to Lombos as he deals with various challenges leading to a point where he decides to escape.

I thought the acting was excellent and battle scenes well depicted. There were some minor issues such as the protagonist Lombos going from unshaven to shaven at random points as I would expect as a POW's opportunity to shave were slim and none. I also noted a couple bodies that breathed and could not deduce if it was late fall or early spring? Either way I would not expect there to be crickets chirping at night. I still thought the overall quality was good.

Where I maybe got a bit confused was the symbolism of the old man who seemed to be everywhere Lombos went and apparently was not a real person. Was he the devil? Lombos's conscience? And why does Lombos open his journal telling Elza he has decided to kill her?

My conclusion is that by staying loyal to the Hungarian army which is on the losing side, he ironically makes it home via the Red Army as he awakens from his botched suicide attempt and is discovered by a Red Army unit about to enter Hungary. The Russians think he is Russian and take action to help him

As I said, the symbolism of the old man and how Lombos ends up where he does at the end confuses, but I am easily confused. :-)

Kind of an odd plot but overall a good movie.

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