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The reputation of the song “Gloomy Sunday” as a siren’s call to suicide is far more legend than fact, and the movie Gloomy Sunday wouldn’t have it any other way. This juiced-up German melodrama uses World War II and the Holocaust as backdrops for a completely invented imagining of the “Sunday” saga, replete with love triangles, a murder mystery, and an international suicide epidemic. Darkly handsome pianist András (Farinelli’s Stefano Dionisi), who plays at a ’30s Budapest cafe, composes the titular ditty to seduce Ilona (Erika Marozsán), the mistress of his boss, László (Joachim Król). Possessing superhuman menschliness, László eventually agrees to share Ilona with András rather than lose both of them. The gauche young German Hans (Ben Becker) also pines for Ilona—and once rebuffed, attempts to become Gloomy Sunday’s first suicide. Only László’s intervention saves him—which the movie plays for maximum irony several years later when Hans returns to Budapest as an occupying Nazi officer who’s initially protective of his friends and then cruelly exploitative. The war and the deportation of Hungary’s Jews aren’t treated with much depth, but the result is far more silly than offensive: It’s the kind of movie in which mention of a character’s Jewishness is interrupted by the marching of a pro-Nazi mob, in which people who utter a portentous “We’ll meet again” actually do. The goofiness of Gloomy Sunday’s inevitable tragedies veers at times into so-bad-it’s-good territory: A faux newsreel on the suicides touched off by András’ song includes a Scotsman lying dead by a loch, kilt and all. And the ending, with a present-day plot twist that’s both too good to be true and fun because of it, confirms that this pulpy mishmash is far from The Pianist. In Gloomy Sunday, suicide is painless. —Todd Hitchcock