I’ve had a busy year, thus I have neglected this blog, this doesn’t mean that I have stop watching or going to the movies. I have seen good films this year. Although this particular film was exhibited in Cannes 2010, I just saw at the Cineteca in Mexico City, I was really moved by this film. Director Magyar Kornel Mundruczo delivers a contemporary, Budapest-set update of Mary Shelley's gothic novel in "Tender Son, The Frankenstein Project." However in this adaptation, in which the monster is replaced by a 17-year-old who finds his horrible mother and uncaring father, who didn’t know of his existence, before turning into a murderer. Some of the predictions for this film were not very encouraging, but this tale of fatherly love and murder oscillates in that thin line between good and evil, between tenderness and disgust.
On a winter day, morose teenager Rudi (Rudolf Frecska) turns up at the crumbling, scaffolded apartment building where his mother (actress Lili Monori), who has not seen him for years, is the only
A film director and acquaintance of the mother (played by Mundruczo) is holding casting sessions in the building, and the adolescent seems more drawn to the filmmaker. He finally ends up in front of the camera, where he acts out a love scene with a girl (Diana Magdolna Kiss), but when asked to play someone who is loved, his unexplained gut reaction is to turn aggressive. The incident that follows is the first of several violent deaths caused by Rudi, who seems to be entirely without a moral compass.
Though the film follows the novel quite closely, Mundruczo seems to have a confused understanding of the central protagonist's dilemma and tragedy. Without a clear understanding of his psychology or past How was he treated in the orphanage? How does he feel about his parents' absence for most of his life? His random killing spree seems simply incomprehensible and vile.
Though the film lacks the narrative glue provided by character evolution, many of the individual sequences are strong, including the opening and closing scenes set in the filmmaker's car. His character, an interesting take on Dr. Frankenstein, looks to recover human emotions from his incompetent non-pro actors in one the film's few comic moments.
The project hugely benefits from all-around excellent craft contributions. The photography, the atmosphere provided by the decaying building itself was marvelously conceived and filmed with a real feel for spatial relations.
I really liked the film, if you feel intense rent it.