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TIFF Review: Sunset

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During the early 1910s an aspiring milliner seeks employment at a legendary Budapest hat store once owned by her family.

When it turns out that a job applicant at a famous Budapest hat shop is the daughter of the former owners she immediately gets shunned which makes her even more determined to uncover the truth about her parents and brother.  The pursuit leads to some dark secrets and perilous situations involving the revolting poor against the Austro-Hungarian Royal Family.

The camera is always right behind Írisz Leiter (Juli Jakab) as she navigates through the streets of Budapest which places the audience in the middle of the action with her point of view.  It can be disorienting at times and feel like a video game.  Certain twists are telegraphed well ahead making the revelations less impactful.  The production design and costumes are stunning as filmmaker László Nemes recreates Budapest in the early 1910s.  An interesting narrative decision was not to use flashbacks, thereby, heightening the mystery as the viewer is never kept ahead of what the protagonist learns.

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Trevor Hogg is a freelance video editor and writer who currently resides in Canada; he can be found at LinkedIn.

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