Kontroll Nimród Antal

In Eastern Europe, "Kontrollers" are the dreaded people who inspect passenger tickets on subways. Working on an honour system, passengers are supposed to buy a ticket when they enter the subway and carry it throughout their ride. However, not everyone is honest and it's up to the Kontrollers to make sure everyone pays up. Kontroll is a "job movie" in which the hero's occupation is the focus, à la Alex Cox's Repo Man or Clockwatchers. Quite often in these films the jobs are society's worst, and most interesting. Kontrollers risk verbal and physical assault and suffer high levels of stress. It's a good idea for a film and director Antal nearly pulls off a perfect debut. With a nod to modern noir films like Blade Runner, Kontroll is gloriously shot in sleek industrial blacks, greys and shafts of electric light. The music is futuristic and the film's overall tone is moody and foreboding. It all takes place beneath Budapest and follows Bulcsú (Sándor Csányi), the handsome but troubled hero who hides from the world by working in the subway. Bulcsú is headed for self-destruction until he meets the daughter of a bus driver, Szofi (Eszter Balla), who reignites his passion for life. Csányi has presence on screen and his character is sympathetic despite his suffering. He has to battle his own bosses while tracking down a murderer who is pushing passengers in front of trains. Only Szofi can save him from this horrible job. Kontrol doesn't have a strong storyline, which is its central weakness. Instead, the movie's strength lies in its subterranean milieu. Antal creates a vivid and funny world populated by dysfunctional outcasts who also work as Kontrollers: a narcoleptic, a flirt, a jaded old-timer, and a leather-clad rival group of Kontrollers (though this subplot never gels). Though needing a stronger plot, Kontroll is still a sleek, entertaining ride. (Th!nk)