White God (2015)
Original Title: Fehér isten
Starring: Zsófia Psotta, Sándor Zsótér, Lili Horváth, Szabolcs Thuróczy, Lili Monori
Directed By: Kornél Mundruczó
Written By: Kornél Mundruczó, Viktória Petrányi, Kata Wéber
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 2 hr 1 min
White God is a story about a girl called Lili (Zsófia Psotta), and her mixed-breed dog, Hagen. Who are separated by Lili’s estranged father Daniel (Sándor Zsótér) when he refuses (mostly to spite his ex-wife) to pay a ‘mongrel’ fine imposed by the Government.
What follows takes us on two journeys. The first explores Lili’s travels as she searches and mourns the lost of her best friend. The second follows Hagen’s adventures as he’s captured, bought, sold, trained to fight, escapes, and then leads a pack of dogs on a murderous revenge tour of the city. Think ‘indie-film’ Cujo, on a larger scale, and you’re rooting for the dogs! Guess which of those two elements is worth watching?
White God (I don’t get the title) is a tale of extremes, and some missed opportunities. Lili’s search for Hagen is quickly confused with an unrequited love story, and a chemistry-less father, daughter reconciliation. Whereas Hagen’s journey is powerful, shocking, stunning and by far the most impactful. I fell in love with Hagen and rooted for him. Handsome devil he was! Equally capable of melting your heart, or seriously creeping you out when he wasn’t being so friendly.
When the film focuses on Hagen, it’s worth watching. When we’re with Lili, the films power and pace collapse. The story also makes a couple of convenient leaps in logic in order to reach a conclusion, and at 2 hours long, I felt director Kornél Mundruczó could have either made Lili’s search mirror Hagen’s, or simply take her part out completely, and focus solely on Hagen’s adventures.
If you love dogs, this film is going to very hard to watch. The movie contains scenes of animal cruelty, and vicious dog fights. The movie is rated R because of that!
There are some really stunning moments in this film, and the closing shot is amazing! This film however will be serviced well enough in HD on your TV, laptop or tablet.
Best Moment: << spoiler >>
Hagen has gone through his fight training, and is now in the ring with an equally vicious dog. Hagen however prevails, and inflicts a nasty wound on his opponent. The last shot of Hagen’s steely-eyed gaze at the injured dog is incredible.