Fifth about The Seventh

Sunset (Napszállta)

Sunset: Nemes László’s period drama is a trying but rewarding experience. It follows a headstrong female character in a plot that, as it develops, gets deeper and deeper into the sordid world of pre-Great War in Europe. The choice to never be too far from the character puts the viewer very much in her shoes (or rather, as her prisoner), and the experience is almost suffocating. That choice pretty much requires two elements, and this film got both: a magnetic leading performer, and solid camerawork. Lead actress Jakab Juli has beautiful, expressive eyes and a classically elegant look; her performance is very quiet and effective. Vlad Ivanov and Dobos Evelin are equally effective. The work of director of photography Erdély Mátyás is a thing of beauty: using mostly extended takes (which have the main character in focus in the foreground, and well-choreographed blocking in the generally out-of-focus background), soft and warm lighting, it has a very striking (and thematically consistent) aesthetics. The flipside is that it can get a tad tiresome at times. Costumes and environment are beautifully recreated.

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