For Some Inexplicable Reason: A quirky comedy about a late bloomer
by Vladan Petkovic
- First-time feature director Gábor Reisz has crafted an accomplished comedy that differs significantly from most recent Hungarian cinema
For Some Inexplicable Reason [+see also:
film profile], a Hungarian film about an awkward late bloomer by first-time feature director Gábor Reisz, which world-premiered in Karlovy Vary's East of the West section, is a light-footed but sure-handedly executed comedy that employs a somewhat documentary-like approach as it infuses the main character's world with real-life protagonists from the director's circle of friends.
29-year-old Áron (Áron Ferenczik) has finished film school but has no job and does not seem too eager to find one. He lives in an apartment that his parents are paying for, and his mother (Katalin Takács) goes as far as writing a CV for him in an attempt to move him forward in life. But Áron's girlfriend, Eszter (Juli Jakab), has recently left him, and he spends most of his time mourning the loss and trying to find a new partner. During this search, he falls for public transport ticket controller Éva Ink (Kata Bach), but is too clumsy to make a proper move.
His closest friends, on the other hand, have steady if not well-paid jobs, and some of them already have families. They try to help him by instructing him how to at least get laid, but when he manages to pick up a girl in a bar and she takes him home and undresses, expecting a simple one-night stand, the hopelessly romantic Áron freaks out and runs away.
During the celebration of his 30th birthday, his friends discover photos of Eszter with a new boyfriend on Facebook, and Áron, who never drinks, gets smashed and buys a flight to Lisbon with his parents' money, exacerbating both his personal situation and the relations with his family.
Besides the well-chosen cast, in which Ferenczik is deliciously funny as the flawed hero, director Reisz serves as writer, cinematographer and co-composer. It seems to be a personal story (maybe even somewhat autobiographical?) by the 34-year-old filmmaker, who invited his real-life friends to play the main character's crew.
Reisz also puts Áron in real day-to-day situations around Budapest and dedicates a lot of attention to the city, which he presents realistically with both affection and criticism, but he also uses humorous fantasy or dream scenes to colourfully describe the main protagonist's psychological state.
Although the film would work better with some trimming – perhaps 70 minutes instead of 89 would strengthen the effect – this quirky comedy is quite a satisfying work that refreshingly differs from most recent Hungarian output in both its aesthetic approach and its treatment of the subject matter.