Dir.: Janos Edelenyi; Cast: Brian Cox, Anna Chancellor, Emilia Fox, Coco König | UK 2016, 88 min.
Veteran Hungarian director/co-writer Janos Edelenyi (Prima Primavera), who has mainly worked for Hungarian Television, has not succeeded in relaying this rather simplistic narrative into an engaging comedy – in spite of the best efforts of leading man Brian Cox.
Sir Michael (Cox), a Shakespearian actor in the latter stages of Parkinsons, lives in his opulent estate in Kent where he rails against “the dying of the light”. His daughter Sophia (Fox) and ex-flame Milly (Chancellor) are trying to pacify him, but he has shown no patience with either of them, or any of his carers, who have left after a failing to get on with him. Enter Dorottya (König), a young Hungarian women who has is trying to make it on the British stage, and eventually wins Sir Michael over, even discussing his incontinence openly. His rather scheming daughter Sophia feels threatened by the newcomer and dismisses her. Declaiming King Lear in anger, Sir Michael suffers a heart attack, but that brings Dorottya back on the scene: taking him to an award ceremony in his honour, and thwarting Sophia’s plans for a million pound donation.
The end credits contain photos and extensive information about happy-endings for all concerned. What could have been an enjoyable romp is, at best, a show-case for Cox and at worse a cliché-ridden, rather soulless and confused primitive farce. DoP Tibor Mathe’s visuals aim to convey an emotional story: but that would require a texture which he did not apply in his acquisition. Using digital cameras to convey emotions has been successfully tried with the use of vintage lenses or post-productions means. Neither were applied in this case, and the result is a smooth, undefined and damp image. The overall result is not even an interesting failure. AS
OUT ON GENERAL RELEASE FROM FRIDAY 5 AUGUST 2016