GLOOMY SUNDAY is a depressing movie from Germany that focuses on a song by the same name that supposedly led some Hungarians in the 1930s to commit suicide. The song became famous in the United States when Billie Holiday recorded a slow-burning jazz rendition of it.
In the movie, Laszlo Szabo runs a renowned restaurant in Budapest. He is cohabitating with Ilona Varnai, his beautiful, younger waitress, when a brooding young pianist named Andras Aradi arrives and is hired to play the background music. Andras composes “Gloomy Sunday” for Ilona, and she falls in lust for him. After some accommodation, Ilona establishes a ménage à trois with Andras and Laszlo at separate times.
Then, Hans Wieck, a Nazi who adores Laszlo’s food, decides that he loves Ilona. When Ilona rejects him, he leaps into the Danube to commit suicide but is saved by Laszlo. Many years later, Hans comes back as a corrupt SS officer. He is pursuing Laszlo, who is Jewish, and only Ilona can help save Laszlo.
GLOOMY SUNDAY is a dark, offbeat movie that has gotten some critical acclaim. The acting and direction are very good, so no matter how depressing the movie is, it haunts your memories, as does the title song which drove so many to commit suicide. The movie overflows with angst, sexual situations (some of which are quite provocative), and humanism. There are no heroes in the movie. Everyone is mediocre and self-serving. In all, GLOOMY SUNDAY is a pretentious nightmare.
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SUMMARY: GLOOMY SUNDAY is a depressing movie from Germany that focuses on a Jewish restaurant owner and his fickle girlfriend who is the only one who can save him from Germany’s National Socialists during World War II. A dark, offbeat movie, GLOOMY SUNDAY overflows with angst, sexual situations (some quite provocative), and humanism.
(HHH, PC, L, V, SSS, NN, D, A, M) Very strong humanist worldview; some politically correct notions; a few profanities and obscenities; mild violence and threat of violence; explicit sex scenes, and suggestions of a menage a trois; upper and rear female nudity; alcohol; smoking; and, lying and adultery.
GENRE: Historical Drama