Stars: *** 1/2
Rating: R for nudity and mild violence. In German with English subtitles
Run Time: 1 hour, 49 minutes
A haunting melody with the evocative title of “Gloomy Sunday” pervades a romantic melodrama that spells doom in the most delicious fashion.
Enter moody musician Andres Aradi (Stefano Dionisi), who tinkles the ivories while falling hopelessly in love with the seductive Ilana. Since neither Andres nor Laszlo can bear to be without this spectacular woman, they agree to endure a love triangle wherein Ilana will continue to play lover to both.
dumb by his unforeseen passion, Andres composes a moody piano piece in honor of
his lady love. The effect of his
sentimental ballad is so painfully bittersweet that the song appears to be the
cause of a burgeoning number of suicides in the
Sunday” becomes a worldwide smash, fueling the legend and making Andres a rich
man. Simultaneously, the Nazi war
machine crashes its way into
Gloomy Sunday is the complete dramatic package – poignant, passionate, and only occasionally straining the boundaries of reality. The moody narrative skirts the bleaker issues of Nazis vs. Jews in favor of a loose focus on the bewitching force of the feminine mystique. Multiple love scenes are soft and sexy, born of an era unencumbered by social and sexual taboo.
Period romance has rarely felt so fertile – wallow in it.