Sunset is a sophomore feature from Oscar-winning Hungarian director László Nemes (Son of Saul).  Unfortunately, I haven’t seen Son of Saul, so I can’t compare notes nor can I comment on how the filmmaker has grown.  However, I was reminded of another recent period film while I was watching Sunset – Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite.

While different in tone, both films are costume dramas and period films that offer the audience a new perspective through unique aesthetics in an otherwise worn-out genre.  With Sunset, movie goers stick closely with Irisz (Juli Jakab);  so closely that we practically watch the story unfold in front her own eyes as she travels to Budapest and revisits her past.  It’s an awakening experience for Irisz.  Shocking discoveries position her in situations that are pulsating with paranoia and devastation.  Nemes’ shooting style comes back into play as Irisz feels as if she’s becoming the centre of attention in a strange land.

Sunset is hoping to provoke tension, but its narrative didn’t work that well for me.  Frankly, I found the film to be too dry to be engaging and, eventually, too repetitive with its claustrophobic tricks.  But nonetheless, Sunset is a decent deviation from the typical fodder this genre usually provides.


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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie

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