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Be Careful What You Wish For, You May Get It – An Interview With Dénes Orosz

by Lina Zeldovich on August 21, 2010

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In Poligamy – a Hungarian indie feature film to be screened at the Astoria/LIC International Film Festival Oct 22-24, 2010 Dénes Orosz, a Hungarian director and producer,explores the ever-controversial subject of polygamy from the surprising angle of what would happen if someone’s coveted wish was miraculously fulfilled.

A young Hungarian couple, Andrash and Lilla, have been in a loving relationship long enough for a commitment. As a typical woman, Lilla wants marriage and children. As a stereotypical man, Andrash doesn’t know what he wants, but he feels he hadn’t played around enough and he wishes he would’ve. Then Lilla breaks the news of being pregnant and strange things start happening.

Andrash’s unspoken philandering aspirations are magically granted. Every morning he wakes up next to a new Lilla, who looks, walks, dresses, and acts differently from the previous one. Interestingly enough, they always get pregnant and he is always the father. Although quite bewildered, Andrash’s embraces his newfound freedom, but soon realizes leapfrogging through relationships can be taxing. Every Lilla’s tastes and lifestyles differ and he never knows what to expect. For all her faults, the original Lilla was truly his, but now women hop in and out of his life like locusts, leaving him worn out, empty and confused. As the time for the baby’s birth approaches, he starts to search for the real Lilla to bring her back. But can he find her – or is he doomed to be forever stuck in his dystopian reality that is thought to be every man’s dream?

Needless to say, the film begged a gamut of questions, that Dénes Orosz was happy to answer – and in a rather quaint way, too.

What inspired the idea of the story?

Dénes Orosz: I was living in a long relationship with a girl and while I loved her very much I felt troubled by the realization that I won’t have a chance to womanize anymore! My fear of being engaged brought the idea of the film.

Men are traditionally thought of as polygamous creatures who would be happy to have multiple women in their lives. Your story proves otherwise. Was that the point you wanted to get across — be careful what you wish for, you may get it?

I think a time comes when one has to decide about what he/she really wants. My protagonist first thinks he wants to be free, but then step by step he matures for his fatherhood.

Why did you decide to send Androsh on his 9-months polygamous journey while his wife was expecting? Did it have anything to do with the fact that a guy’s sex life often suffers when his wife or girlfriend gets pregnant?

There is truth to that, but the fact that the birth of the baby is approaching gives tension and weight to the story. What’s more, the announcement of the pregnancy is a good reason to make a major change on Andrash’s life.

Did you give your main character your own traits? Your film synopsis describes your movie as “men want to sleep with every woman they find attractive. What would happen if this came true?” What would you do — if this came true for you? And what do you think would happen at the end in your case?

Yes, András has my traits as well, however I exaggerated his characteristics to dramatize the story. If could sleep with any woman I find attractive, I’d feel the same way he did: a quick, empty relationship can be fun, but then there comes profound sadness as you both realize how superficial that relationship is. All of us desire to love and be loved, so ultimately I would be looking for the right woman I can live my life with.

What did your main actor think of his role? How long did it take you to find him?

Quite long, a few months. At first I didn’t want a star, but when Sándor Csányi came to the casting it has become clear in a minute that he will be the best for the role. He was enthusiastic from the beginning, and not only because he would be shooting together with a team of beautiful women. He has a son and perfectly understands the problem the film is about.

What did your female actors think about the idea of the film?

DO: They felt sympathy fully with the protagonist’s emotional crisis and they agreed that Andrash’s fear of commitment was very real and typical for a man.

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