Tall Tales – Hunter Falls Prey

REVIEW/NATION
by Diana Ushkar
03.05.2021
Attila Szász, the Hungarian Tarantino presents a new historical thriller Tall Tales (2019). A story about a con man, papers announcements, a family and a refuge, love and war and, after all, a fundamental change of behavior and a fundamental option.
Tall Tales takes place in Hungary, right at the end of World War II, when families and friends are waiting for the return of loved ones, who left home to defend their country. In the chaos many of them place advertisements in the newspaper, seeking information about the whereabouts of lost soldiers so that they can be reunited with them. This makes them easy targets for con men — and the main character, Hankó, is one of them. He lies about knowing many missing sons and husbands, tells their families beautiful legends, in which the missing ones are true heroes, in order to get things from the grieving relatives: being happy to hear anything about their darlings, they reward him dearly with gifts, food or lodging. But it is a dangerous game, and one day it gets him into such serious trouble, that he must flee Budapest to save his skin.
Being on the run, Hankó finds himself amidst endless forest at gunpoint. Actually, that was the moment of a fateful meeting with the local hunter's family, Judit and her little son Virgil. Though a woman didn't believe in Hankó's tales about his acquaintance with her missing husband, she still agrees to give him shelter. From that moment, the con man becomes inextricably tied to the family and soon finds that he must reckon with his past. More than this, he realizes he might have some romantic feelings for the hunter's wife. But he must keep it together, as it seems Judit is still waiting for her husband to return from the field.
The film is considered to be a historical thriller, and it does a great job drawing the realities of the post-war period. Everyone is still trying to overcome what has happened during the past few years — all destinies are described with a great level of tension. Hankó, who was a soldier as well, suffers from nightmares — he sees the one repeating dream about his military service in Russia. Virgil, the hunter's son, is missing his father; his mother has to teach him how to trap and shoot animals herself. The whole town suffers from hunger because they can't get enough meat without a hunter. Apart from this, the film also focuses on such serious topics as the destiny of a woman, the relationship between wife and husband, dark sides of people's nature: cruelty, cowardice and lies. Considering all this, I can say, the movie has great suspense, it really kept me on the edge of my seat with its many twists and turns.

The production was all nice and I absolutely loved how it paid tribute to old school films. It has the look and feel of a noir with great cinematography. Attila Szász is called Hungarian Tarantino for a reason: from a technical point of view, his films have something in common with the works of a great maestro. First of all, Szász uses the "trunk technique", looking up POV shots. During these shots, the audience feels powerless. He uses wide shots as well. These allow the audience to see every detail of the world that he's built for the film. Szász understands how powerful a wide-shot is, as it utilizes the environment to show the desires of his characters. Finally, with the outstanding combination of thrills, suspense and comedy, people in Tall Tales manage to laugh even in the darkest times.
Concluding all this, Tall Tales is an interesting movie for numerous reasons, from the theory and technology of filmmaking to the part of storytelling. This is a film about war, defining, in a precise — delicate manner, realities after it, decisions and changes. It impresses and thrills and I hardly recommend watching it.
 
Tall Tales – Hunter Falls Prey

REVIEW/NATION
by Diana Ushkar
03.05.2021
Attila Szász, the Hungarian Tarantino presents a new historical thriller Tall Tales (2019). A story about a con man, papers announcements, a family and a refuge, love and war and, after all, a fundamental change of behavior and a fundamental option.
Tall Tales takes place in Hungary, right at the end of World War II, when families and friends are waiting for the return of loved ones, who left home to defend their country. In the chaos many of them place advertisements in the newspaper, seeking information about the whereabouts of lost soldiers so that they can be reunited with them. This makes them easy targets for con men — and the main character, Hankó, is one of them. He lies about knowing many missing sons and husbands, tells their families beautiful legends, in which the missing ones are true heroes, in order to get things from the grieving relatives: being happy to hear anything about their darlings, they reward him dearly with gifts, food or lodging. But it is a dangerous game, and one day it gets him into such serious trouble, that he must flee Budapest to save his skin.
Being on the run, Hankó finds himself amidst endless forest at gunpoint. Actually, that was the moment of a fateful meeting with the local hunter's family, Judit and her little son Virgil. Though a woman didn't believe in Hankó's tales about his acquaintance with her missing husband, she still agrees to give him shelter. From that moment, the con man becomes inextricably tied to the family and soon finds that he must reckon with his past. More than this, he realizes he might have some romantic feelings for the hunter's wife. But he must keep it together, as it seems Judit is still waiting for her husband to return from the field.

The film is considered to be a historical thriller, and it does a great job drawing the realities of the post-war period. Everyone is still trying to overcome what has happened during the past few years — all destinies are described with a great level of tension. Hankó, who was a soldier as well, suffers from nightmares — he sees the one repeating dream about his military service in Russia. Virgil, the hunter's son, is missing his father; his mother has to teach him how to trap and shoot animals herself. The whole town suffers from hunger because they can't get enough meat without a hunter. Apart from this, the film also focuses on such serious topics as the destiny of a woman, the relationship between wife and husband, dark sides of people's nature: cruelty, cowardice and lies. Considering all this, I can say, the movie has great suspense, it really kept me on the edge of my seat with its many twists and turns.

The production was all nice and I absolutely loved how it paid tribute to old school films. It has the look and feel of a noir with great cinematography. Attila Szász is called Hungarian Tarantino for a reason: from a technical point of view, his films have something in common with the works of a great maestro. First of all, Szász uses the "trunk technique", looking up POV shots. During these shots, the audience feels powerless. He uses wide shots as well. These allow the audience to see every detail of the world that he's built for the film. Szász understands how powerful a wide-shot is, as it utilizes the environment to show the desires of his characters. Finally, with the outstanding combination of thrills, suspense and comedy, people in Tall Tales manage to laugh even in the darkest times.
Concluding all this, Tall Tales is an interesting movie for numerous reasons, from the theory and technology of filmmaking to the part of storytelling. This is a film about war, defining, in a precise — delicate manner, realities after it, decisions and changes. It impresses and thrills and I hardly recommend watching it.
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