On the Quiet – The Way How We Are Lost in Sounds

REVIEW/NATION
by Anastasiia Preizner
20.05.2021
The lack of mutual understanding can appear not only in the everyday life but also within a creative team if the members are sensitive people. And the thing is that sometimes human beings don't hear or don't see what's going on. Does this mean that the world around us is too complicated to understand, or do people see only what they want to see? Such questions are asked in the Hungarian film On the quiet (2019), directed by Zoltán Nagy.
The plot of the film is based on the story of 18-year-old David, a talented violinist who plays in a youth orchestra. The guy studies music more than anyone else in the group plays solo parts and idolizes his 60-year-old conductor and mentor at the music school. David and the teacher have such a trustful relationship, that it seems as if the man replaces the boy's father.

Once before an important competition, the conductor invites to the orchestra Nori — a new 14-year-old girl who immediately gets a lot of the teacher's attention. After a while, she shares with the main character the experience that their conductor "touches" her where he actually should not. David, at first not believing this, begins his investigation: he puts a voice recorder in the girl's pocket — it saves everything that Nori discusses with the conductor. While listening to the record David finds out that the man breathes deeply, changes his voice strangely, and behaves with the 14-year-old girl unnaturally. As a result, this idea takes hold of the main character so much that he begins to get confused about what is real and what is just a part of his imagination.
It is also interesting how Nori behaves. In the first half of the film, she clearly shows dissatisfaction with what is happening. The girl cries and tries to find support in David. But after a while, she refuses to admit all her previous words about "touching" and even begins to be jealous of the conductor to the other young members of the orchestra. In one of the final scenes, the teacher assures the girl that they have a unique relationship, unlike those that occur between the conductor and other girls in the group.
At the very end of the film, people don't notice that the 60-year-old conductor has a relationship with a teenage girl. Only David sees it and he hurts the teacher with his disappointment. The pain of realizing that the boy's idol has been destroyed is transmitted to the conductor himself. The old man says that Nori needed care but he misunderstood her. Others do not understand the meaning of these words but David, sitting at the table with the teacher's family and answering the question of the conductor's wife if he wants to eat more, says that he can no longer do this. And, for sure, it's not about food at all.

At first, it seems as if the conductor and Nori are opposing the main character. In the end, the viewer sees that there is no struggle between anyone — there is one within themselves, which almost always ends tragically. There are no villains or heroes. Some people see only a part of what they can see.

The idea of this film is that all three main characters are victims. Everyone is surrounded by the outer noise, which they interpret differently. They develop misunderstanding and fear because the model of the world, which was in their heads for a long time, eventually ceases to function. They are forced to adapt to external conditions — the ones that were created by other people trying to do the same, and who also do not see the whole picture.
The movie ends abruptly — a black screen appears, and the music turns off for a while. The audience stays silent. But for how long?
 
On the Quiet – The Way How We Are Lost in Sounds

REVIEW/NATION
by Anastasiia Preizner
20.05.2021
The lack of mutual understanding can appear not only in the everyday life but also within a creative team if the members are sensitive people. And the thing is that sometimes human beings don't hear or don't see what's going on. Does this mean that the world around us is too complicated to understand, or do people see only what they want to see? Such questions are asked in the Hungarian film On the quiet (2019), directed by Zoltán Nagy.
The plot of the film is based on the story of 18-year-old David, a talented violinist who plays in a youth orchestra. The guy studies music more than anyone else in the group plays solo parts and idolizes his 60-year-old conductor and mentor at the music school. David and the teacher have such a trustful relationship, that it seems as if the man replaces the boy's father.

Once before an important competition, the conductor invites to the orchestra Nori — a new 14-year-old girl who immediately gets a lot of the teacher's attention. After a while, she shares with the main character the experience that their conductor "touches" her where he actually should not. David, at first not believing this, begins his investigation: he puts a voice recorder in the girl's pocket — it saves everything that Nori discusses with the conductor. While listening to the record David finds out that the man breathes deeply, changes his voice strangely, and behaves with the 14-year-old girl unnaturally. As a result, this idea takes hold of the main character so much that he begins to get confused about what is real and what is just a part of his imagination.
It is also interesting how Nori behaves. In the first half of the film, she clearly shows dissatisfaction with what is happening. The girl cries and tries to find support in David. But after a while, she refuses to admit all her previous words about "touching" and even begins to be jealous of the conductor to the other young members of the orchestra. In one of the final scenes, the teacher assures the girl that they have a unique relationship, unlike those that occur between the conductor and other girls in the group.

At the very end of the film, people don't notice that the 60-year-old conductor has a relationship with a teenage girl. Only David sees it and he hurts the teacher with his disappointment. The pain of realizing that the boy's idol has been destroyed is transmitted to the conductor himself. The old man says that Nori needed care but he misunderstood her. Others do not understand the meaning of these words but David, sitting at the table with the teacher's family and answering the question of the conductor's wife if he wants to eat more, says that he can no longer do this. And, for sure, it's not about food at all.

At first, it seems as if the conductor and Nori are opposing the main character. In the end, the viewer sees that there is no struggle between anyone — there is one within themselves, which almost always ends tragically. There are no villains or heroes. Some people see only a part of what they can see.

The idea of this film is that all three main characters are victims. Everyone is surrounded by the outer noise, which they interpret differently. They develop misunderstanding and fear because the model of the world, which was in their heads for a long time, eventually ceases to function. They are forced to adapt to external conditions — the ones that were created by other people trying to do the same, and who also do not see the whole picture.
The movie ends abruptly — a black screen appears, and the music turns off for a while. The audience stays silent. But for how long?
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