Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan


(Hungary, 2003)

Odd little film. It’s filmed entirely in the subway system of Budapest, and begins with a stiff guy reading a disclaimer on a clipboard, saying he had been criticized for allowing the filming to go on because it didn’t reflect well on transit workers. Who is this guy? Is it a put-on? Maybe Jodie Foster could have had a flight attendant deliver a similar statement before Flightplan and thus avoided the incredibly stupid boycott the union called for.

Anyway, it begins well enough, but then pretty much stalls in its tracks. The Budapest transit system is like Portland’s MAX trains: You don’t have to buy a ticket to board, but inspectors board at random and if you don’t have one, you pay a hefty fine. Transit roulette. This is about the scruffy guys who do that job and don’t get no respect. They seem to have virtually no real authority, they are laughed at and assaulted. Could have been a good comedy, but it can’t seem to decide where to go. There’s probably some deep existential message here, but I didn’t care.