The Man Who Was Thursday: Review

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC The Man Who Was Thursday: Review

Do you believe you can right your wrong doings? This is possibly the premise for the stylish debut feature film from Hungarian writer-director Balazs Juszt. THE MAN WHO WAS THURSDAY is set in the world of Roman Catholicism, from Massachusetts to Rome. Previously a director of music videos and commercials, Juszt was inspired by G.K.Chesterton’s novel of the same name, written in 1908, but set in a different context. He managed to cast the fittest priest and ex-nun possible… Ana Ularu and Francois Arnaud (Both from The Borgias).

Surrounded in his rectory by statues of the Virgin Mary, Father Smith (François Arnaud), between pushups, the parish, confession and omelettes, is full of self-doubt and erotic dreams. Clad in a combination of priest and rebel, Smith is an ex tough-kid and prison priest. He seems to be ready for anything but what he is currently doing and his world is suddenly enlivened by gangsters, desire (in the form of Ana Ularu) and arson. Despite appearing to want to get out of the catholic confines, Smith instead ends up in spiritual rehabilitation. (You’d think that if priests were being disciplined then it might be time to cut them loose!)

He makes it to the salubrious world of Vatican City – a state with its own rules. Charles (Jordi Mollà), the only person who knows how far Smith has come, exploits this knowledge, and leads him into some underground detective work, promising an audience with the pope and a personal pardon.



For this to seem a critical choice, we have to believe that Smith has done some pretty extreme things… So begins his search for Sunday, the pseudonym for the leader of the over-educated Latin-tagging anarchists.

This film is a rollercoaster ride full of twists that are for the most part unbelievable, as is the nature of this supernatural thriller. I feel forced to give you a cliché alert. Between the S&M, the crosses and the whores, it’s not hard to be three steps ahead of the story. Switching between dream and reality as well as skipping from 1942 wartime to the present, the film is a confusing tale, yet kudos must be given to the editors (Gyula Istvan Mozes & Danny Rafic) for bringing it all together.


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An Australian who has spent most of her adult life in Paris, Louise is a sometime photographer, documentary-maker, writer, researcher, day-dreamer and interviewer, who prefers to start the day at the local cinema’s 9am session.

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