March 30, 2015

White God (2014)

White God (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: Kornel Mundruczo
Country: Hungary / others

Movie Review: After a spectacular opening scene where filmmaker Kornel Mundruczo shoots hundreds of dogs frantically running throughout the streets of Budapest, I immediately thought: maybe I didn’t read appropriately the film's title - was it 'White Dog' or ‘White God’? Actually, I was expecting something different here; according to its title, probably something more austere and masterful, but surprisingly the film stands in the middle of an affecting family adventure and a slightly gory thriller. A dangerous position since it may be too light to please horror-thriller fans and too violent to be watched with family, especially if you have little kids. The story has two protagonists: the 13-year-old trumpet player, Lily, and her cute mixed-breed dog, Hagen. When Lily’s mother leaves the city for a few days in the company of her new boyfriend, she is forced to stay with her picky father, Daniel. Lily takes the inseparable Hagen with her, but Daniel dumps the poor dog into the wild streets. While the sad Lily steps into risky situations and starts misbehaving as she looks around for her best friend, Hagen tries to avoid the dog-catchers of the municipal kennel, but eventually falls in the hands of rascals, being subjected to maltreatment and then turned into a fighter, for their own profit. As a dog lover, knowing that there are people out there inflicting this kind of treatment to innocent animals, gives me the creeps and really pisses me off. These moments were the ones touching me more since the rest relies on a farfetched canine feast of rambunctious chases, tenacious attacks, and emotive incidents. Production and direction are splendid, yet the script is not tight enough (no bad guy escapes to the dogs’ fury, not even Daniel’s snitch neighbor). In the end, the positive factors ended up obfuscating the negative ones.

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