Year Released: 2014
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 22 minutes
Click to Expand Credits:
Poland has five short films in this year’s AFI DOCS program, second only to the 12 from the United States. One of those, in the “Shorts Program: Odds and Ends,” is Damian Kocur’s strangely whimsical “21 Days [21 Dni],” about Michal, a shy man with a mouthful of dental braces and a crease down the middle of his forehead, and his very unusual plan to find love in a sea of desperation.
I was wondering to myself, over the first few minutes of this film, is this really a documentary? There’s just something a tad stagey about it. Like watching an episode of “Candid Camera.” The film first focuses on our ‘hero,’ a bashful Warsaw bus driver sitting behind the wheel, then flits about to show pretty young women passengers, apparently okay with a camera focusing on them. Moments later, he’s one of several participants in a self-help program about ‘Perfect Dating’ techniques, including the eponymous 3-week plan in the art of meeting women that an instructor is offering to a room of sheepish students.
Day 1: Ask 50 women for the time.
He fails. And chokes (figuratively and literally, when he approaches a women smoking a cigarette). Confidence, my eye.
Comic situations ensue as various assignments (i.e., conversation starters) frustrate him. He breaks through the ice, but for the women-fish he’s casting after, I suspect they’re looking back at him as someone who’s not that great a catch. It’s all a little unnerving to see him strain so hard.
As Day 21 arrives, Michal has a new look (haircut, jacket) and is, indeed, more adept at engaging the female sex, at lease in casual, although stunted, conversation. This approach is still too bold for my old-age, married-for-37-years sensibilities, I guess.
Studio Munka specializes in producing directorial debut films, so I congratulate Damian Kocur for a nice, first-out-of-the-gate experience.
So, nightmare or fairy tale ending? You gotta pay for that.
Posted on June 19, 2014 in Reviews by Elias Savada
If you liked this article then you may also like the following Film Threat articles:
- DELTA DELTA DIE
- “?” CAST BOASTS MAJOR TALENT
- NINE DAYS OF FILM AND VIDEO IN LOUISVILLE
- THE RETURN OF ESTROFEST
Popular Stories from Around the Web