The effect of watching Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time is the same as not watching it.
In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were people who haven’t seen this film who know more about it than me, and I sat through it. And believe me, this is a movie you sit through. Even just reading the title is a chore. If that’s all you manage to do, congratulations.
I find that the most mediocre European movies are the ones that try too hard to be American. It always comes across as desperate and out of place.
Viktor Bodo gives a soporifically wooden performance as the male lead. The film’s one shining light is the beautiful Natasa Stork. The most cinematically astute thing that director Lili Horvát does is give us plenty of close-ups of her lead actress. Stork’s light blue eyes stand out amongst the film’s darker colour palate. Stork raises Preparations from the level of boring snooze-fest to something resembling a feature-length perfume commercial, which is not much of an improvement.
I have seen reviews where Preparations is called a psychological thriller. But there was never a single moment where I felt on edge. The most thrilling thing about the film was knowing that it would end. I kept anticipating this, especially in the final twenty minutes.
And even though I’m not going to recommend that you watch this, I’m still not going to give away the ending. But let me just say that it departs completely from the idea of what a psychological thriller should be. If there were such a thing as a movie lying to its audience, this would be example number one.
I don’t get the point of this film. I don’t know why it was made. I don’t understand why the people who made it felt they needed to. But I wish that they had added something more to it. Even something ridiculous; an alien invasion, a musical number, sexual or scatological humour, a hard-core sex scene. Anything that could’ve taken away from the monotony and mediocrity. Doing so might not have made it a better movie; it might have made it an outright terrible movie. But a terrible movie is better than a mediocre movie.
Official submission of Hungary for the ‘Best International Feature Film’ category of the 93rd Academy Awards in 2021.