The Notebook (Le grand cahier)

Genre:  Drama
Running Time:  112 min.
Release Date: September 26, 2014 - Toronto, Montréal - September 26, 2014 - Toronto, Montreal

Current rating: Rating: 3.00
based on 4 votes and 1 reviews
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Cast: László Gyémánt, András Gyémánt, Piroska Molnár, Ulrich Matthes, Gyöngyvér Bognár

Synopsis

During World War II, the parents of twins decide that their prepubescent teen boys (László Gyémánt, András Gyémánt) should go live with their alcoholic grandmother, who lives in the country. When their mother drops them off with the strange woman, whom they've never met, they try to leave with her.

The grandmother, whom the villagers call "the witch," beats them and locks them out of the house. The boys decide to train their bodies to withstand pain, cold and hunger and as their father requested, they record their experiences in a notebook. Previously loved and even somewhat pampered, they find themselves now disdainful of human life.

Based on the international bestseller Le Grand Cahier by Hungarian author Agota Kristof, who writes in French.

Director: János Szász
Studio: Mongrel Media
Producer(s): Pál Sándor, Sándor Söth
Screenplay: Andras Szeker, Janos Szasz, Agota Kristof

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  • 5 stars "The Notebook begins as World War II is winding down. As an ally of Nazi Germany and part of the Axis Powers Hungary is on the losing end. The movie focuses on two young twin boys (András and László Gyémánt), whose names we never learn. They are 12 when the movie begins in the summer of 1944 and 13 when the movie ends in the summer of 1945. To ensure their safety their parents (Gyöngyvér Bognár and Ulrich Matthes) place them in the care of the woman's mother, who lives in the countryside running a small farm. The problem is the grandmother (Piroska Molnár) has not seen her daughter in 20 years and clearly has a very low opinion of her. At the end of the movie she is surprised her daughter (after dying in a shell explosion) even had a husband. She is a mean old woman who's rumored to have poisoned her husband and the movie supports this conjecture. The villagers call her "the Witch." At the beginning of the movie the boys hate her because she keeps calling them bastards and is very mean to them. It's clear her grudge against her daughter is carried over to her grandsons to whom she shows no love nor warmth. The boys transform from normal children into two human beings who have hardened themselves both physically and psychologically to deal with the rapidly deteriorating situation in Hungary. To say the boys morph into monsters is not quite accurate. By the end they bear a grudging respect for their grandmother. They avenge an old Jewish man."