Péter and his friends live in an economically starved small town in Hungary, and have absolutely nothing to look forward to. We follow their sad day to day existence as they attempt to find some way of feeling life - be it through smoking, sex, thieving,
Contending for the most ironically titled
film of the year, Pleasant Days is a movie of
bleak beauty, being the story of a tarnished summer from the viewpoint of a group of youngsters in a small Hungarian town. Director Kornél Mundruczó shows youth without any future, reduced to crime and acts of brutal violence, doing anything they can to rescue something from their dismal, humdrum existence.
Recalling Larry Clarks Kids, this is
a drama in which the lean, hollow-cheeked adolescents are almost like fashion models, shot in such a way as to turn their economic and moral degradation into a new kind of squalid chic.
Though a damning indictment of contemporary Hungarian life, its focus is on exterior rather than interior, with this strangely passionless stance ultimately leaving us unmoved.