Preparations to be Together for an Unknown Period of Time (M) - 95 minutes
Truth or fiction?
A brilliant, self-sufficient, Hungarian-born neurosurgeon about to turn 40, Marta Vizy (Natasa Stork), meets the man of her dreams, Janos Drexler (Victor Bodo), at a New Jersey conference in July 2019.
He turns out to be a Hungarian too, something she didn’t know when she first set eyes upon him.
After spending the day with him, she arranges to meet him at a specific location in Budapest, where he works (also as a neurosurgeon), exactly a month thereafter.
He doesn’t show up.
When she tracks him down, he claims to have no knowledge of her.
Meanwhile, she has decided to pack in 19 or 20 years’ work in the US and a great job to follow her instincts.
Put simply, she can’t be talked out of doing so.
She takes up residence in a rundown apartment in the Hungarian capital and finds work – below her station in life – at the hospital where Drexler has been employed.
That provokes suspicion.
On one of her rounds, she questions her superior’s judgment and is put in her place.
Then she is assigned a case that proves to be a game changer.
Drexler is on the case too and sees Vizy do something that changes the patient’s outcome.
After that he flits in and out of her life, frequently disappearing without any explanation.
Vizy starts to question her own sanity and consults a therapist to try to unpack and make sense of what she is going through.
Is she delusional? Is Drexler merely a figment of her imagination?
If the latter, why wouldn’t he follow through on the obvious connection between them?
I greatly appreciated the intensity and mystery in the film.
There is intrigue throughout and you are genuinely left speculating as to what is real and what may not be.
Stork is excellent as the lead. She balances the measured nature of a surgeon with a level of anticipation and excitement that comes with finding “the one”.
Bodo is convincing as the “game player”. There is more going on here than at first meets the eye with Drexler.
We won’t learn the truth until almost the end of the picture and plaudits here are due to the scriptwriter and director Lili Horvát for crafting such an engaging work.
Another of interest in the cast is Bennett Vilmanyi, who plays Alex, the medical student son of the patient Vizy helps save.
He is believable as the young man who changes his view of Vizy and subsequently shows more than a passing interest in her.
Preparations to be Together for an Unknown Period of Time fires up the imagination and maintains interest.
It is an enigmatic and intelligent piece of filmmaking with an appropriate title to match.
Rated M, it scores an 8 out of 10.