Kills on Wheels
Kills on Wheels gets proactive about tackling diversity in cinema, with awesome results. Director Attila Till was determined to create a film that allowed disabled people to play themselves instead of being imitated by generic actors. The final product is a fresh and inventive thriller-comedy in which a pair of disillusioned disabled youths become immersed in a provocative world of guns, gangsters and blood money.
Set in Hungary, Kills on Wheels tells the story of wheelchair-bound Zoli (Zoltan Fenyvesi) and his best friend Barba (Adam Fekete), who suffers from cerebral palsy. The two young men are roommates at a care facility and share a passion for graphic novels and comics. To escape from the mundane realities of everyday life, the pair start working to create their own comic together, utilising art and storytelling as their outlet. It is around this time that gruff ex-convict and hitman Rupaszov (Szabolcs Thuróczy), also in a wheelchair, crashes into Zoli and Barba’s uneventful lives with a bang. Desperate for a sense of purpose and adventure, the two young men find themselves acting as accomplices in tough guy Rupaszov’s messy and dangerous criminal career – but all is not as it seems.
Throughout the film, Till puts a strong emphasis on the notion that its disabled characters are much more than meets the eye, and should not be underestimated. A very different tale compared to the recent blockbuster Me Before You, Kills on Wheels focuses on the empowerment and resourcefulness of its protagonists, using imaginative ways to illustrate how society often misjudges the disabled. In amongst the entertaining action and cinematic violence, the movie’s subplot highlights the emotional and physical difficulties that Zoli, Barba and Rupaszov face every day, and their individual methods of coping.
Considering Fenyvesi and Fekete’s disabilities are not Hollywood imitations but the real thing, the cast’s achievements are truly inspiring and deserve much recognition, especially as neither actor had any major onscreen experience before being discovered by Till. Alongside them, Thuróczy also delivers a remarkable performance as an able-bodied actor performing as a convincing paraplegic killer.
Using clever cinematography to demonstrate the perspective of a person in a wheelchair, the film is impressive in a technical sense too. Zoli and Barba’s gritty comic book artwork is also brought to life within it, as animation is merged with reality, a memorable recurring feature. Using a mixture of dark humour, reflection and realism, Kills on Wheels emboldens and entertains until the final scene.
Kills on Wheels is released nationwide on 15th September 2017.
Watch the trailer for Kills on Wheels here: