Antal's thriller concerns Bulscu (Csanyi), a man who's left his life above ground to work as a ticket inspector in Budapest's vast subway system. In this grim, grimy subterranean world, he executes a thankless job asking riders to show him their tickets. On the bright side, he forms a tentative relationship with Sjofi (Balla), a girl who rides the rails dressed in a bear suit. Then he learns of a sudden increase in people jumping in front of trains — or are they being pushed? Bulscu and his motley group of comrades continue to face the abuse of passengers and rival teams of ticket inspectors, as bodies continue to pile up. Will Bulscu ultimately cross the path of a killer?
This highly original release has the nihilist feel of futuristic sci-fi; the Budapest subway system gives off a decaying, lifeless aura. Yet unexpectedly, the oddball fraternity of ticket-checkers manage to inject their bleak surroundings with a therapeutic dose of humanity and humor. Though suspenseful and atmospheric, the film's black comedy is its most successful, intriguing asset, with Bulscu's hilarious co-workers Muki (Csabu Pindroch) and the Professor (Zoltan Musci) worth the price of admission all on their own. Definitely a movie — and a director — worth watching. (Don't miss that opening scene on the escalator.)