Gloomy Sunday


I found this 1999 film by trolling through Netflix and didn’t expect much. Turns out it’s an achingly bittersweet love triangle set in a Budapest restaurant in the 1930s, loaded with East European sophistication and world weary charm. Of course we know the Nazis are coming, and when they do the plot ratchets up, but the film remains true to its appealing ménage a trois. The movie ran for six months at an art house in Beverly Hills, and I can understand why. It’s a real sleeper, with a lovely denouement. The song “Gloomy Sunday” that plays a key part in the plot was composed by a Hungarian in the 30s and was rumored to have sparked hundreds of suicides throughout Europe and America.

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