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TIFF 2020 Review: Preparations to Be Together For an Unknown Period of Time

After spending 20 years in the United States as neurosurgeon Márta Vizy (Natasa Stork) returns to Hungary to rendezvous with her true love who claims to have never met her before.

With a note in hand stating a time and place, Márta Vizy heads to a bridge in Hungary to meet with a doctor she encountered at a medical conference in New Jersey; when she confronts the object of her affections for showing up he claims that they had never met before.  Márta collapses in the middle of the street but regains her composure and gets back up.  After briefly flirting with the idea to leave Hungary, she decides to stay, gets hired by a local hospital and in essence stalks János (Viktor Bodó) to unravel the mysterious connection that she feels when in his presence.

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Thankfully, the story does not evolve into Fatal Attraction territory; however, calls to mind Phoenix where the lead actress played by Nina Hoss wonders if her mind is playing tricks upon seeing a man resembling her husband.  Márta attends therapy seasons and is a highly competent neurosurgeon so there is no suggestion that she is psychotic.  The overall theme deals with the complexity of the brain and its ability to be manipulated.  Jump cuts and aspects of the narrative cause a fragmented aesthetic at times which perhaps reflects that over time the brain retains impressionistic rather detailed memories.

Natasa Stork is able to balance the emotional complexity of the role though the same cannot be said for Viktor Bodó who lacks the charisma for a woman to give up everything to be with him.  As for how the relationship develops between them, it stills feels like a mystery.  But then again how often do you come across couples and wonder how they ever got to be together?  The pacing is slow which accentuates the thriller aspect as the wanderings of Márta cause the viewer to wonder where she is going to take them to next.

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

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