LAND OF STORMS (2014) VIHARSAROK
Best friends Szabolcs and Bernard are playing in the same German football team. After a lost game, Szabolcs decides to go home to Hungary where he meets another boy, Áron with whom they become lovers but soon Bernard comes after his friend.
LAND OF STORMS is based on a true story and this flawed me. It is one of the most beautiful films I have seen all year, slightly “BROKEBACKISH” and one of the most evocative films of love and pure tenderness. It is sensual, powerful, filled with love and heart and it is also a Shakespearean-styled tragedy of the heart that embraces martyrdom. Shakespeare would have have given this film a standing ovation.
Szabolcs (András Sütö) is an exceptional football player, he is in running to play for Germany, but he does not know what he wants from life, he plays football purely for his father and has little passion in it. He barely knows himself, being in the football team there is a lot of bonding and near nakedness from teammates, his roommate is pretty much in love with him and possibly vice versa. Szabolcs sabotages his position on the team and basically runs away back to his bequeathed home in Hungary. The place is falling down and it leaks like a sieve but he likes it.
One night Szabolcs wakes to see some guys trying to ride away on his bike, he tackles one of them to the ground who hits his head and becomes unconscious. He does the right thing and nurses Bernard (Sebastian Urzendowsky) back to the sunlight. Bernard feels guilty and helps Szabolcs fix his house up and start patching the roof. They bond, they form a friendship, they get drunk and have a lot of fun and one thing leads to another and a sexual encounter occurs, an encounter that is all about Szabolcs pleasing Bernard, Bernard keeps himself removed but enjoying the sensation.
At this stage that Szabolcs falls in love and sees his moment to get away from it all, he doesn’t give a XXXX about his football life, he wants the picket fence and he could possibly have it here with Bernard. And this becomes a difficult love affair in a town that has never had a gay. Bernard is confused and also spends his life looking after his sick mother, he confesses in his confusion that his new employer Szabolcs felt him up but he didn’t stop him. It gets to the town, poor Szabolcs gets beaten and outcast, but he really doesn’t give a XXXX. In the meantime Bernard is struggling with his newfound sexuality that for the first time in his life involves tenderness and love and it goes beyond his dick, it reaches to his heart.
And so begins an on again off again relationship set in a strange Hungarian country town that are naive to the ways of homosexuals and preferred they didn’t taint the town with their dick on dick action :). To throw a spanner in the works, once Szabolcs is head over heals his old roommate Áron (Ádám Varga) turns up to see Szabolcs in the hope their love will start. And here we have a tense life choice, love or love, country bee-keeping with a new life, or possible love while playing for Germany in football.
The direction, acting and cinematography of this film are superb. The film felt subdued and slightly sepia but this gave it a poetic and emotive hue. Hungarian director Adam Csaczi’s assured debut feature delivers in every way, it never becomes melodramatic, it maintains heavy drama and sensual romance but still has moments of high comedy and moments that will make you cry and then his finale, a moment that will punch you in the stomach, with a car. I never saw it come, but it did and I questioned it the entire way home and then reminded myself it was based on a true story, this never helped.
The thing that got me about this film was the heartfelt tenderness and chemistry, these aren’t incredible sex scenes with a set of 50 people and Angelina rubbing ice down her boobies, these are two guys, scruffy, and I have never seen something so loving and tender, I would kill for that chemistry and tenderness, and the scene with the door, a glass door, it is really short, but honestly one of the most cutest and romantic scenes I have ever seen, these guys are incredible as an on screen couple.
The film is also strong in its thoughts and values on homophobia, there are some brutal scenes that had an audience of Sydney gays gasping. It is basic in its approach, people can be cruel, narrow minded bigoted people who would rather beat something than learn about it. It never lingers and it never lectures but nearly every gay man would have experienced something like this in their life, it covers so much of the spectrum of homophobia.
Finally the cinematography, it is subtle and it is stunning, it is painted canvas with vastness in colours and camera angles that light up the screen, the high angled shots of the farm house and using the centred shot as opposed to off-centred shot works well. The shot towards the start of Szabolcs walking through the field towards the dilapidated house is beautiful, it was these scenes and the use of sunlight and beautiful night lit scenes that made the film stand out. I clap the film cinematography from Marcell Rev.
This is the closest movie to BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN since BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, it is stunning, it is sensual and it is tragic but at the same time beautiful, romantic and filled with comedic and also deeply emotional moments.
I LOVE THIS MOVIE, DEFINITELY ONE OF MY FAVOURITES FOR THE YEAR.