Back in 1998 enfant terrible film director Lars Von Trier attracted acclaim and vitriol in equal measures with his film ‘The idiots’ where he had a cast of intellectuals go out into the local community pretending to be mentally disabled. That was back in 1998 and when you find you’re about to watch a film about a disabled hitman employing two disabled teenagers to assist him in what the trailer suggests is a comedy it’s easy to suspect that things don’t sm to have movd on much in European films and this is going to be a pretty tasteless viewing experience. Mercifully it isn’t.
What with it’s subject matter and it being a Hungarian subtitled film which in itself is enough to put most people off it would seem to have little going for it but it arrives in the UK bringing with it a whole bunch of film festival awards and nominations.
Its stars Szabols Thuroczy as Rupaszov, a wheelchair bound hitman just released from jail and about to embark on a series of hits for Rados (Dusan Vitanovics) against an opposing gang. Already it sounds ludicrous and the premise is taken to further extremes when Rupaszov employs two teenage boys, one of which is also wheel chair bound and isolated from his absent father but needing an operation to stop the pain that wracks his body. To both teenagers the hitman Rupaszov becomes an unlikely father figure and what follows are a series of events where the boys find a new lust for life.
Written and directed by Attila Till this could so easily and does occasionally veer perilously close to borderline tastlessness but what he’s done here is produce a mash up of genres that combines a brutal thriller with dark comedy and is utterly compelling. What takes it to another level is that both teenage boys are genuinely physically disabled and their plight at times is at times shocking but the film never panders for sympathy. Whilst the premise of a disabled hitman is initially ludicrous the way its executed here is nearly always plausible and ingenious as to just how the hits are carried out for the crime lord who in another surreal twist is played by a real life neurosurgeon. It’s a film full of surprises and shocks with the cast being put through all manner of shocking episodes made all the worse by them being confined to wheelchairs.
If thrillers are your thing then don’t be put off by the subtitles because this is like nothing you’ve seen in the genre.
Here’s the trailer…….