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now you see me, now you don't Now You See Me Now You Don't (Most látszom, most nem látszom)
Directed by:  Attila Szasz
Cast: Vitez Abraham, Erno Fekete, Dora Letay

Written by:
Ricardo Barberini

August 1, 2007

Hungarian award winning director’s Attila Szász’s short movie articulates in 30 minutes what many other movies could not deliver in 2 hours.


The surrealistic haunting movie is about a young housewife whose son keeps appearing and disappearing throughout the movie. She talks to her son, Alex, and even scolds him for going near the pot of hot boiling water which sees to be forever boiling on the stove.  The audience knows that it is being setup for something surprising and maybe even heart wrenching, but the director very cleverly steers us away from the conclusion until he is ready to deliver the ending.  

Then one day the husband comes home with a new gadget which makes the son invisible.  He then goes on to water the roses!  The worried wife goes into the boy’s room and looks inside the gadget box and finds nothing more than a few family photographs.

The frantic mother is searching for the son and feels that the husband has made him disappear.   She frantically accuses the husband of making him vanish and demands that he make him come back.  The husband, shamefacedly, admits that he cannot make him become visible again and if he did, she would not recognize his face again.  The surprise ending of the story is at the end of this review. 

The writer/director Attila Szász takes this story and brilliantly weaves it into a mystery drama that takes the viewer on an emotional ride into the senses of the victim’s family, specially the mother.

The attractive Hungarian actress Dóra Létay plays the mother and Ernõ Fekete        plays the father.  Alex is played by Vitéz Ábrahám.   The acting is expertly handled and Dora specially shines as a distraught mother in denial and has managed to push a very unpleasant memory to the sub-conscience of her mind. 

The single note score played, almost continuously, on the piano contributes to the lingering sense of drama and foreboding that we expect throughout the movie.  We know something is wrong but we do not know what it is. 

The director has turned the Alfred Hitchcock’s recipe upside down successfully.  The essence of surprise in Hitchcock’s movies is centered around the fact that the audience knows the truth, fifteen minutes into the movie, but none of the characters in the movie seem to know the truth until the very end.  Here, we are left dangling until the final moments before we discover the truth.  The crisp cinematography by Tamás Keményffy is actually quite outstanding.  He had the difficult task of using his wide screen camera in confined spaces of a house without overdoing his shots.  We are glad he was not tempted to overuse titled shots or unnecessarily zoom in and out like some short movie cinematographers who attempt to impress the critics and the audience.    

Have handkerchiefs ready.  This is not a gory movie, at all, but you will feel like joining the parents in weeping by the time the movie is over.

We give this movie starstarstar1/2 out of 4 stars!  We would recommend that you rent or buy this movie and enjoy watching it.  It will shower your senses with emotions of compassion and warmth.

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