Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Film Review: For Some Inexplicable Reason

"For Some Inexplicable Reason"  ** (out of ****)

What will you do with your life? It is a difficult question to answer. It doesn't matter how old you are. Whether you are 8, 18 or 58. It is a question however all 18 year olds are expected to know the answer to before entering college and they should know the answer after they graduate, as they will get a job that will be the beginning of a long lasting career.

That of course may have been true in 1948. But, this is 2015. The world has went into a downward spiral since than. Individuals graduate from college with no real prospects. Yes, unemployment is down, so says the government, but are these high paying jobs? Or is McDonalds just doing a lot of hiring? Are these even jobs in the fields graduates studied for? Are they prepared for today's job market?

The Hungarian comedy "For Some Inexplicable Reason" (Van Valami Furcsa es Megmagyarazhatatlan 2014) provides the comfort of knowing this isn't just an "American" problem. Life is bad everywhere! The youth in many countries have no idea what they are doing.

The movie is the feature length directorial debut of Gabor Reisz and premiered in Chicago at the 18th annual European Union Film Festival.

Aron (Aron Ferenczik) is a 29 year old film major, who still lives at home with his parents (Katalin Takacs, Zsolt Kovacs) was recently dumped by his girlfriend, Eszter (Juli Jakab). While mending his broken heart, one day, he and his guy friends, head out to local bars and get drunk. Things get a bit out of hand and the next morning Aron learns he has bought a ticket to Portugal, where it just so happens his ex is currently living with a new boyfriend.

Though Aron tries, he is not able to cancel the purchase. He facing mounting pressure from his parents to get a job. Though, any film major will tell you, with a film degree you have no "marketable skills" in the so-called "real world".

Gabor Reisz said in an interview, with me, the idea for the movie came from his" realization" that he hadn't seen a "Hungarian movie in a long time where the characters were believable to the people of Budapest".

Unfortunately, watching "For Some Inexplicable Reason" the viewer doesn't come away feeling they have seen a distinctly "Hungarian" movie. The characters do not seem to be believable unless the people of Budapest are all leading the life of characters from an indie American movie about slackers looking for a path in life.

That is what becomes the ultimate downfall of the movie. We've seen this all before in American movies. Socially awkward people unsure of what to do in life. One of the most famous examples would be "The Graduate" (1967), about a college graduate who is not sure what to do with his life.

What would have made "For Some Inexplicable Reason" a better movie, would have been if the movie was in fact a "Hungarian" movie and tell us this familiar story with a new fresh perspective. But, what does "For Some Inexplicable Reason" tells us that is original?

Economically times are tough. Unemployment among the youth is high. After you graduate college it is a difficult time. Are graduates really prepared for the "real world"? Getting over a broken relationship is hard. Children don't feel connected to their parents and feel pressure from them.

Now what? That is what "For Some Inexplicable Reason" tells us. Have you heard this before? So have I. There is nothing wrong with telling us this story but the question becomes, what makes your movies different from all the others? That is what the movie lacks.

"For Some Inexplicable Reason" doesn't feel Hungarian, It feels like a somewhat decent indie American comedy.