Attila Till / Hungary / 2016 / 105mins
Available on Blu-ray Mon 15 Jan 2018
Three men in wheelchairs go on a crime spree. One (Szabolcs Thuróczy) is a former fire officer – an accident in a burning building has left him paralysed below the waist – and has anger-management issues. Incredibly he becomes a gang hitman, his wheelchair status rendering him virtually invisible in public places. The other two actors, Zoltán Fenyvesi and Ádám Fekete, are living with disabilities in real life.
A subplot tells of one of the men’s need for a life-saving operation which his divorced mother (Mónika Balsai) hopes will be paid for by the father who walked out on the family, possibly because he was ashamed of his son’s disability. There’s also nifty graphic novel elements that reflect the action. The movie is a strange blend of Ealing comedy and Tarantino. There is a bittersweet hilarity to some of the scenes as when the hitman threatens to push his two disabled cronies in a river… and does just that.
The challenges of the men are depicted unsparingly but it’s also a touching, even heartbreaking, no-holds barred depiction. It’s rare to see disability shown in quite this way. It’s startlingly unsentimental and wobbles the pedestals (people living with disabilities are always heroic) that political correctness is always quick to impose. The story may waver in places but it has just the right gore quotient.