Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time
Lili Horvát’s Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time is a scintillating portrait of relationships, deception and obsession. Respected neurosurgeon Márta (Natasa Stork) returns to her native Budapest from the States to meet the man of her dreams, János (Viktor Bodó). They had met one month earlier and promised to reunite in the city on the designated date. When he claims to have never met her before, Márta is devastated, however she stays in Budapest and takes a position in the same hospital to investigate whether János is deceiving her or she has lost her mind and fabricated their relationship.
The protagonist becomes engrossed by the man who claims he doesn’t know her, spending nights awake looking up videos of him as a child, reading his successful book and finally, watching him from outside his house. Whilst this goes on, Márta visits a psychiatrist in the hope that she will be able to decipher what exactly happened to make both their accounts of each other so different.
This feature highlights two very human experiences. The first being how falling in love is so synonymous with going mad; people all over the world have formed irrational attachments to people, may they be someone they’re intimate with or someone they haven’t so much as met in their entire life. How does one become so infatuated with another, especially when unreciprocated? Preparations shines a light on this odd but common adulation through the lead, who essentially uproots her entire life to be close to a man who sees her as a stranger. Is this completely unreasonable or the most human emotion experienced?
The second major theme of the film is Márta’s relationships with the opposite sex. Throughout the movie, she is surrounded by men who underestimate and patronise her or project their feelings onto her. In one scene, when she is in a shop with János, he is addressed as “doctor” by the shopkeeper, whereas Marta is referred to as “the little lady”. A patient requests a male older colleague to carry out an operation despite the central character being more accomplished and is condescended to by Hungarian doctors for her American training.
Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time is an intimate and thoughtful illustration of the female experience in both a personal and professional capacity, with an incredibly committed lead performance from Natasa Stork.
Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time is released digitally on demand on 19th March 2021.
Watch the trailer for Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time here: