Stars: Szabolcs Thuróczy, Zoltán Fenyvesi, Ádám Fekete
Released: 2016 (Showing at #LFF2016)
Reviewed by: Isaac Tomiczek (Instagram: @iceydirector)
LFF 2016 is already proving one of the most diverse of recent times and Atilla Till’s “Kills On Wheel’s” is a film that certainly puts diversity on screen.
The word ‘diversity’ is a bit of a dirty word at present but it will cease to be needed when lead actors like those featured here are commonplace.
The elevator pitch is simple. 3 wheelchair bound disabled men of varying ability embark on a crime spree that wouldn’t feel out of place in the Tarantino cinematic universe.
Yes you heard me right, 3 wheel chair bound disabled men. It is a concept that grabs your attention because it sounds unique, original and timely.
It is all of the above and also one of the most enjoyable films I’ve seen so far.
When two teenagers cross paths with an ex fireman they draw him into a comic they are writing, just as they are drawn into his world of high stakes professional hits. Once they discover that they have the potential to earn money and a life experience not usually afforded to people in their condition, they start to blur life with fiction, using their thrills to create the plot for the comic book.
Till’s film is a wonderfully cute and sometimes critical look at life in a wheelchair. Shots are often framed from the pov of a wheelchair and much fun is had in scenes where the characters are underestimated because of their condition.
A trio of gripping set pieces stand out, but it is in the smaller and quieter moments, where the trio forge friendship and trust that the film confidently stands out as a drama as much as a violent comedy.
The film has pace and never lingers too long in sentiment and there is a visual panache, which combines comic book art and the inventive camerawork of Imre Juhasz (who has worked as camera operator on big budget Hollywood films).
All of this just adds to the feeling you are watching something familiar yet markedly different from the norm.
It also helps that the film is Hungarian as it keeps dialogue, which could sound hackneyed in English, fresh and electric here.
Elements that weaken the story are ironically those that make it fun and actually help empower it.
The disregard for morality is blatant but allows for the film to hurl along with purpose. The characters are archetypes, ordinary guys and criminals so their journeys are limited to a few self-discoveries and changes of situation but these are small quibbles when the film satisfies as a crime, comedy and drama flick, as well as a huge tick for that dirty word, ‘diversity’.
When a film has an early sequence involving a guy getting stabbed in the leg by a dumb criminal, and not feeling it because he is paralysed below the waist, you know that the rules of the game have been bent slightly and the game might even have changed slightly too.