The Girl (1968)

Márta Mészáros directs Kati Kovacs, Teri Horvath and Juhász Jácint in this Hungarian youth drama where an orphan reaches adulthood and visits the mother who abandoned her at their farm.

A pleasing message in the bottle from Eastern Europe’s recent past. Melancholy, hip, sensitive. A lonely young adult experiences rural life and glimpses the frozen-in-time world her mother must have lived in when she was her age. What is fascinating is Mészáros then shows us the single girl returning to her lonely life as a factory worker in Budapest and just how much is the same. Rip-off Beatles bands play bastardised pop hits about freedom, boys want girls for one thing only getting romantic once rejected, money controls even small interactions like swimming wild or meeting a stranger for lunch. This isn’t a spectacular film, not even particularly cohesive, but it has stayed with me over the last week. The well composed wide shots giving way ever so occasionally to impactful moving close-ups, the minimalist storytelling that hints at meaningful depths. An enigmatic ending. I might retry this soon if the effect proves lasting. Modest but emotionally mature.

6

Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/

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