Gloomy Sunday

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Gloomy Sunday ★★★ Ein Lied von Liebe und Tod 2002

Story of a complex love triangle and Nazi oppression in 1930's Budapest, told in extended flashback. Jewish restaurant owner Laszlo (Krol), his waitress/lover Ilona (Marozsan) and pianist Andras (Dionisi) are all involved with one another when German salesman Hans (Ben Becker) falls for Ilona and eventually befriends the trio. Inspired by Ilona, Andras composes a hit song (the titular “Gloomy Sunday”) that causes a rash of suicides. Three years later, Hans returns to Budapest as an SS colonel and is immediately torn between his dedication to the ideals of the Third Reich and his three friends. The characters are complex and well-written, and the tension is thick as they all struggle with the ethical implications of their actions as war encroaches on Budapest. Somewhat marred by stilted, melodramatic moments, but the excellent story and fine acting more than makes up for it. 114m/C DVD . GE HU Joachim Krol, Stefano Dionisi, Ben Becker, Erika Marozsan, Sebastian Koch, Laszlo I. Kish, Rolf Becker; D: Rolf Schuebel; W: Rolf Schuebel, Ruth Thoma; C: Edward Klosinski; M: Detlef Petersen, Rezso Seress.