Hused the Cannes film Festival where he presented his second feature film, Johanna, in 2005 and then Delta in 2008, and Tender Son – The Frankenstein Project in 2010, Kornél Mundruczó marked the spirits at the 67th edition of the festival (14 to 25 may 2014) with White God, which won the Prix un certain regard, one of the parallel sections of the official Selection. This film is a thriller, very different to the previous works of the director, a Hungarian, is at once a film of adventure, heroism, revenge, and rebellion. In spite of a few sequences predictable and lasting a little too long, White God is a beautiful result.
Lili (Zsófia Psotta), a 13-year-old, lives with his mother (Lili Horváth) and her dog, Hagen, whom she loves more than anything. His mother, who has to travel abroad for several months, entrusts it to his father Daniel (Sándor Zsótér). The latter is not thrilled to have his daughter and even his dog. Because to promote breed dogs, the government imposes on the population a heavy tax on the bastards. In the Face of the pressures of the inhabitants of his building, Daniel is forced to abandon the animal. Then begins an adventure terrible for Hagen, confronted for the first time to the violence and the cruelty of men. While Lili his search, Hagen is transformed little by little into an animal monstrous revenge will be terrible.
With White God, Kornél Mundruczó takes us in many directions. First, there is the complicated relationship of the young Lili with his father. The teenager is entrusted to the latter after the departure of her mother for several months. A situation that satisfies neither the one nor the other. Lili holds regular head to his father, who does not know how to handle it. She is in full rebellion and refuses to submit to the rules. With this character the developer develops a part of his remarks, namely does not comply with the standard. She is the heroine that is not expected and showed courage to the end.
In addition, there are parallel consequences of the abandonment of the dog by Lili. With him White God turns into an adventure. It is Hagen who must now go it alone, find food while escaping the violence of the humans wanting to take it to the pound as it is a bastard. The metaphor about the society and the conditions of the minorities is easily discernible but it remains intelligently processed, without much support.
”Without having all the qualities, over the life, of the Birds of Hitchcock, and addressing a topic near to The Planet of the apes, but way less fantastic, White God is no less surprising and absolutely nerve-wracking”
However, it is above all in its staging that Kornél Mundruczó achieves something incredible. With almost no dialogue, with Hagen in a long journey. The camera manages to adapt to the animal. She also uses many wide shots than close-ups, according to the movements dictated by the latter, without, however, stun the spectator. Concerns are growing in front of his uncertain future, as a compassion unexpectedly. As the film then changes tone and genre. The adventure film becomes a horror film. The dogs locked up and abused are turning against men, and Hagen at their head. We think with the White God to one of the masterpieces ofAlfred Hitchcock, The Birds (1963), mentioned on the movie poster. But if Hitchcock surprised by the contrast between the smooth image conveyed by birds, and the violence of which they were capable in the film, with White God, the animals are from the beginning impressive. The director uses close to 250 dogs powerful and carry with them for the most part an image violent. By this aspect the film is rapprocherai more of The Conquest of the planet of the apes de Jack Lee Thompson (1972) and its remake The Planet of the apes : The origins of Rupert Wyatt (2011), two of the eight works from the science-fiction novel of Pierre Boulle’s Planet of The apes (1963). Hagen becoming a leader in the manner of the ape Caesar in the films mentioned.
Here, to achieve control and direct as many animals becomes a technical feat, and one remains speechless when a hundred of vicious dogs continue in a deserted street, the young Zsófia Psotta on his bike, without any apparent protection. A remarkable sequence, and terrifying when the animals appear in the field. The young actress faced with this traumatic event turns out to be very courageous. It is also due in large part to the film. Under his airs of a tomboy with her big hoody, it gives off a youthful beauty. His fascinating work is both hard and full of sweetness.
If he happens to zone out during a large part of his film, Kornél Mundruczó, falters sadly on the last part he stretches too much and lasts nearly forty minutes. After you have opened the door to many topics without developing them further, especially the relationship between father-daughter, it provides the last sequence of big show, where the pack of dog revisits the locations shown throughout the film. Finally, even if it is easy to see come the final scene, which confronts Lili and the dogs rebelled, it is no less magical. The work done by the trainers and Teresa Ann Miller, in charge of the coordination of the animals, must be supported as the result is impressive. Without having all the qualities, over the life, of the Birds ofHitchcock, and addressing a topic near to The Planet of the apes, but way less fantastic, White God is no less surprising and absolutely nerve-wracking.
Other films released on December 3, 2014
Original title : Fehér Isten
Achievement : Kornel Mundruczó
Scenario : Kornel Mundruczó, Viktória Petrányi, Kata Wéber
Main actors : Zsófia Psotta, Sándor Zsótér, Lili Horváth
Country of origin : Hungary, Sweden, Germany
Released : December 3, 2014
Duration : 1h59mn
Distributor : Pyramide Distribution
Synopsis : To promote breed dogs, the government imposes on the population a heavy tax on the bastards. Their owners get rid of it, the shelters are overcrowded. Lili, age 13, loves her dog Hagen, but her father abandons her in the street. While Lili searches throughout the city, Hagen, left to itself, discovers the cruelty of men. He joined a gang of stray dogs ready to foment a revolt against the men. Their revenge will be merciless. Lili is the only one able to stop this war.