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On Body and Soul (2017)

On Body and Soul (2017)


Géza Morcsányi
Alexandra Borbély

Directed by Ildikó Enyedi

On Body and Soul is a Hungarian movie which tries to link the real world with the dream of two people. The category where this movie falls into place will be a romantic drama.

The movie falls short in the areas of excitement, pace and the needed twist and turns needed to make it a movie I will feel confident recommending. Its desire to remain slow paced and not invite the needed excitement to go through this almost two hours long movie is where I feel the writers and producers failed to deliver. That said, I enjoyed the characterization and I was very inquisitive on the two main characters that I watched the movie through to the end and will say if you are into such romantic drama’s you will enjoy the movie too.

Nominated for Best Foreign Film at the 90th Academy Awards and Alexandra Borbély (who played Maria) winning the European Actress award at the European Film Awards – On Body and Soul takes place in a slaughterhouse, where there is nothing much going on. Like every typical work place some people are involved while others are not. The movie’s focus is on two people, Endre the CFO and Mária the autistic quality inspector.

Much of their initial conversations together very much led nowhere and Endre felt like he was intruding and crossing the line with his extremely quiet and withdrawn co-worker, Maria.

Nothing much will have happened between the two if a theft had not occurred in the slaughterhouse, which led Endre to invite the police. The police ask Endre to carryout a psychological evaluation of his workers claiming it is very much certain that the person who did this can be found with such a method.

Endre decided to follow through with the officer’s request and a psychologist was sent from the police to the slaughterhouse to interview all the workers.
During the interview we along with the psychologist notice something weird between Endre and Maria. Both were having the same dream, where Endre was a stag deer and Maria a doe deer. In the dream they are in the woods during the winter and Endre the stag helped Maria the doe, to get some food. The only contact between the two is when they go for water and their noses touch.

Such accuracy in detail did both Endre and Maria give that made the psychologist believe that they were playing a joke on her. Nonetheless the revelation of such an occurrence made Endre very curious, more curious than Maria to see why they were experiencing such a weird abnormality.
The whole inquisition of Endre got Maria to like him and find him interesting (or in her words beautiful). But her autistic behavior made it difficult for Endre to understand her or know where he stood when it comes to her. She figures this out starts to work on herself to be able to trust Endre enough to come close to her.

The movie could have gone in many directions in the exploration of the dream phenomenon, but the writers decided to only focus on the interaction of the two parties involved, inviting us the viewers to be patient and see where this movie will lead us.


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