Directed and written by Kristóf Deák, Mindenki (English title: Sing) is a Hungarian Oscar-winning short film that is based on a true story about events that occurred within an award-winning school choir in Budapest, Hungary.
We are introduced to the main character Zsófi (Gasparfalvi Dorka) who is a new student at school. A shy and reserved character, she is having a difficult time trying to fit in. The screenplay covers the scenarios of a school, with the Geography teacher barely introducing the new student and the classroom monitors don’t give any attention to Zsófi.
Liza (Dorottya Hais), on the other hand, befriends Zsófi, and the two get along in the story. Her only solace comes from the chance of being a part of the school’s famous choir.
Next, we see Ms. Erika, who is the school’s choir teacher, the winner of the school’s most notable achievement, and a very attractive woman. The choir has a few days left for winning a competition. However, the adored choir teacher has her own plan, which begins to unravel with the inclusion of the newcomer Zsófi. Following the rehearsal, the teacher pulls her aside and tells her to mime the lyrics instead of singing them.
Disappointed by this, Zsófi follows what her teacher has asked her to do. During the next class, Liza notices that her friend is just miming the lyrics. Upon asking, Zsófi tries to hide what Ms. Erika told her from Liza. Gradually she finds out the reason why Zsófi is doing it.
What follows next is worth watching.
Children are rarely depicted in cinema in a realistic light. Mindenki, on the other hand, is fascinating because the children act like children. They argue about trivial matters and feel obligated to obey the school’s authority, even if it has wronged them.
The script does a good job of portraying the protagonist’s life. The screenplay is also used well by the film’s child actors. Dorka and Dorottya show an exceptional talent for their age making the film appear more realistic.
The direction deserves special praise for being able to bring out the best performances from these little actors rather than reducing them to role-playing.
Mindenki is a beautiful film, not only because it is based on a true story but also because of the compassion with which it is delivered to the audience.