Great Art House director Bela Tarr's, The Man from London, tells the story of railway signalman Maloin (Miroslav Krobot), who hardly registers what is going on around him. Suddenly his life takes a turn, when he witnesses a murder and becomes mixed up with a English police inspector (István Lénárt), in matters that are completely foreign to him, forcing him to face morality and the thin line between innocence and complicity.
The film was beautifully shot in black and white by cinematographer Fred Kelemen (who recently did Tarr's new film The Turin Horse) and the acting of Miroslav Krobot and Tilda Swinton was excellent. With brilliant Mise-en-scène from Tarr, masterful long takes by Kelemen and atmospheric composition from his long time collaborator Mihaly Vig, this film could easily have been a masterpiece, like his previous films Satantango and Werckmeister Harmonies.
However, there are small problems, which there could have been without. The over the top Britishness of the inspector was very stereotypical, sounding and acting like something out of a 1940's Ealing Studios film. Another thing was that István Lénárt, must had been well over seventy, which makes this quite unrealistic. These details lessened the film, making it an outstanding to watch, but failing to reach it's full potential.
Compared to most films you see being made now days, this is an excellent film, besides it's shortcomings. Although it is not one of the best of Tarr's work, it is still worth purchasing, for it's breathtaking cinematography and the impeccable acting of Krobot and Swinton. If you are new to Bela Tarr, get Werckmeister Harmonies, which I believe to be his best released on DVD and one of the greatest films of the last decade. If you already have Tarr's other films then you should definitely add The Man From London to your collection as it is still a great film which should not be missed.
Special Features: Interview with Bela Tarr
Language: Mostly French with a small amount of English
Dolby Digital 2.0
Black and White
Region Code: 2
Running time: 90 mins