Now You See Me, Now You Don't (2005, Short)
Reviewed by Melissa Bostaph
Starring Erno Fekete, Dora Letay, Vitez Abraham
Directed by Attila Szasz
I’m not exactly sure how it happens, but for some reason I seem to end up reviewing the films that have to do with children. Be it abductions, abuse, murder, molestation, or some other sort of foul play against children ... films with these subject matters seem to find their way to my desk, DVD player, and eventually my mind. That’s where they stay the longest and have the most effect. Here I am, the mother of five beautiful children, and I’m the one whose head is being bombarded with all of the hideous things that can and do happen to children.
"Now You See Me, Now You Don’t" is yet another film that stirs up emotions that no parent ever wants to face, but the brilliance of the film presents these issues in such a manner that you technically don’t even know what you’re facing until the bittersweet end. I don’t want to get into too much detail because I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprising journey by giving away the destination.
Hungarian director Attila Szasz has been enjoying a very successful festival run with his 30 minute short since 2005, and it is easy to see why. Attila definitely has an eye for his craft and the necessary confidence in his own talent to create a spectacularly haunting, and poignant film about guilt, loss, emotional pain, forgiveness, and the difficulty of healing after a tragedy.
Beautifully filmed, acted, and written this film brings you into the home of an apparently normal family. Dad is working on an experiment in his lab, while his wife and son are spending a quiet day together at home. Everything appears to be fine until Dad brings his work home with him and the boy unexpectedly becomes invisible. The couple’s marriage becomes understandably strained, and the relationship between the parents and their unseen child seems to be the only thing keeping them together, yet is somehow tearing them all apart at the same time.
The subtleties throughout the film allude to the cause of the family’s turmoil, but it waits for the final moments to reveal the true reason for their strife. When the gut wrenching reality is at last brought to light, and you begin to realize that your looming suspicions were correct the film leaves you breathless. As a parent I had thoughts racing through my head. I wondered if my family would be able to survive the same fate, and pleaded with all the unseen forces of the universe that I would never have to find out.
4 out of 5
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