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Kontroll (control)
Kontroll poster.jpg
Kontroll film poster
Directed by Nimród Antal
Produced by Tamás Hutlassa
Written by Jim Adler
Nimród Antal
Starring Sándor Csányi
Zoltán Mucsi
Music by Neo
Cinematography Gyula Pados
Edited by István Király
Distributed by ThinkFilm
Release dates
  • November 20, 2003 (2003-11-20) (Hungary)
Running time
105 minutes
Country Hungary
Language Hungarian
Budget US$500,000

Kontroll is a 2003 Hungarian comedy–thriller film. Shown internationally, mainly in art house theatres, the film is a darkly comic thriller set in the Budapest Metro system.

"Kontroll" in Hungarian refers to the act of ticket inspectors checking to ensure a rider has paid their fare. The story revolves around the ticket inspectors, riders, and a possible killer.

The film was written and directed by Nimród Antal and starred Sándor Csányi, Zoltán Mucsi, and Csaba Pindroch. The film was entered in a number of film festivals in Europe and North America. It won the Gold Hugo Award at the Chicago International Film Festival and was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.[1]


Bulcsú (Sándor Csányi) is a ticket inspector on the Hungarian Metro;[a] he spends his nights sleeping on the train platforms, and hasn't left the underground ever since he started working there. His ragtag team of inspectors - consisting of the veteran Professzor (Zoltán Mucsi), the disheveled Lecsó (Sándor Badár), neurotic narcoleptic Muki (Csaba Pindroch) and dimwitted greenhorn Tibi (Zsolt Nagy) - is routinely disrespected and assaulted by the commuters, who continue to evade paying fines in a variety of ways.

One of Bulcsú's company rivals, model employee Gonzó (Balázs Mihályfi) challenges him to a "rail run": after the last metro leaves a station, the two get on the tracks and try to make it to the next station on foot before the midnight maintenance carriage runs them over. Bulcsú wins the contest, barely saving Gonzó in the last second. During a routine inspection, he is enamored by a girl dressed in a bear suit called Zsófi (Eszter Balla), the daughter of one of the veteran metro drivers, Béla (Lajos Kovács). In another occasion, Bulcsú unsuccessfully attempts to talk his collague Laci (László Nádasi) out of a hostage situation when Laci goes postal after he gets into an altercation with a passenger; Laci exclaims he can't take it anymore and slits the passenger's throat.

After chasing a repeat offending prankster called Bootsie[b] (Bence Mátyássy), Bulcsú witnesses him being pushed on the tracks by a hooded figure, dressed in exactly the same attire as him; another incident in a long line of what people thought were apparent suicides. Because of his recurring nightmare of this figure, Bulcsú fails to apprehend the murderer, and when he's brought to questioning, he refuses to disclose details of the incident to the lead executive (György Cserhalmi) of the company. When the executive threatens to disclose the video footage of the incident, which only shows Bulcsú, he resigns his job. Muki later insinuates him being the murderer, citing his continual nightly absence and accusing him of having the same mental issues as Laci did; an infuriated Bulcsú almost pushes him on the tracks as well.

During an underground costume party, Bulcsú spots and follows the hooded figure and they get into an altercation, after which they start rail running similarly to the contest with Gonzó earlier. Bulcsú wins again; the hooded figure never emerges from the tracks. Bulcsú meets Zsófi, who is now dressed as a butterfly, and the two finally emerge back to the surface.

  1. ^ The metro in the film is fictionalized; the layout doesn't match the existing one in Budapest, which is the only Metro in the country.
  2. ^ In the Hungarian original, he is called Gyalogkakukk, lit. Roadrunner.



  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Kontroll". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 

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