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SUNSET: Great images, confusing plot

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This Hungarian film directed by Lazlo Nemes opens with a great picture of Budapest in 1913, and the images that follow will reaffirm the beauty of its photography. These images would undoubtedly be a great tribute to the people who designed the sets and re-created with such delicacy the central part of the Hungarian capital in that period just one year before the Great War would dismember the Austro-Hungarian Empire and put an end to their version of the Belle Époque.

However, despite the undeniable beauty of the images, films are not just attractive pictures, since there is also a drama unfolding in each movie, there is something called the plot which is also an essential element when analyzing a film. And the story is what fails in this case, not because its general idea is not interesting, but because the excess of subplots and implausible situations arising make in the end a story that is confusing and with no clear narrative focus.

Irisz Lester (Juli Jakab) is first seen trying some hats at the store that has been founded by her parents, but that now belongs to Oszkár Brill (Vlad Ivanov), she then reveals that her real intention is to be hired as a hat maker there. She is indeed not welcome, but eventually, she manages to hang out at the store anyway. She then learns that she has a brother, and when she finally finds out about him, it is not clear whether he is just an outlaw, a murderer, the chief of a criminal gang, or the leader of some kind of anarchist group. In the end, only confusion reigns.

“Sunset” would be enjoyed if you appreciate great images, but the story is hard to follow, and some of the characters are never entirely developed. Besides, it could have been a little bit shorter.

Running Time: 144 min

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