1 November 2012 | info-517-905420
A gem from Romania
The plot of "Regresie" (AKA Regression) revolves around Ciprian's claim to receive a government life pension and benefits due to an apparent disability caused by a blow to his head whilst serving in the military in Afghanistan.
The film opens with Ciprian's assessment day where perplexed government doctors examine his rare syndrome. The CIA join in - they are sure that there is more to Ciprian's illness than meets the eye and send two of their best and brightest to attend the evaluation.
The evaluation committee, expecting a routine investigation of benefit fraud, are perplexed when they are confronted by a man who one minute holds a rubber duck while cuddling up to his wife and then the next minute engages in seemingly exotic dance moves.
It seems that Ciprian has regressed to the age of a 5 year old boy and also suffers from intense fantasies of being a star surrounded by gyrating female dancers with elaborate Bollywood choreography.
The investigating team are befuddled. The lead interrogator suspects fraud and hatches a simple plan: he will simply test Ciprian with a surprise visit to his home. Meanwhile, the CIA agents have quickly concluded - based on ambiguous events during Ciprian's service in Afghanistan, where he supposedly caught somebody from the Al-Qaeda leadership - that Ciprian's dances must be some sort of Al–Qaeda code. Suspecting now that Ciprian must be an Al-Qaeda recruiter, the undercover CIA agents have one solution only - to render (AKA government sanctioned kidnap) Ciprian at the nearest possible opportunity.
Both teams, acting independently of each other, simultaneously arrive at Ciprian's flat with unfortunate timing. It is Ciprian's birthday – and as we all know, kids on their birthday are not to be messed with – they get what they want. Adults, even ex-secret service interrogators or CIA rendition experts must await their turn....
The director & writing team have pulled off a superb farce – some hysterical situations combined with suspenseful moments ensue - using buffoonery with insightful characterisation and a situation so ludicrously improbable, that surely it has to be true?
This is a farce steeped deep in its Romanian roots of dark, satirical absurd comedy. The performances are delightfully contained and the story remains tight until its final outcome. With a story so rich and fast moving, my general feeling is that the filmmakers are simply bursting at the seams – ready and ripe – for a feature. I can't wait. I get the feeling that anyone who gets to see this short will be proud to have known it before the feature that surely is soon to come from this team.
I know that I will be.