The film combines a striking visual sense with unexpected spikes of weirdness. This amiable, offbeat odyssey (with the emphasis on the ‘odd’) plods over the kind of terrain which is already well-trodden by films like Bent Hamer’s O’Horten and much of Aki Kaurismaki’s oeuvre. Festival interest, following the film’s premiere in Un Certain Regard, is a given. However, like its shambling, taciturn protagonist, the film might be too aimless to venture far from its familiar territory.
It's a perfect example of just that sort of sweet, amusing but ineluctably dull festival film. Flecked with notes both of tragedy and comedy, a bit critical of the rising tide of xenophobia across Europe but not so political as to frighten any horses, mildly whimsical, this debut for fresh-out-of-film-school director Gyorgy Kristof is the cinematic equivalent of supermarket pinot grigio. No one will be offended by it, but few will remember much about it.
Although a tad lacking in dramatic oomph, the smartly stylized episodic tale is crammed full of oddball characters and boasts a deeply sympathetic turn from Hungarian actor Sándor Terhes as the protagonist, who sets out on his odyssey with barely more than schoolboy Russian and a vintage fishing pole.