Be My Cat: A Film for Anne
Film: Be My Cat: A Film for Anne
Director: Adrian Tofei
Writer: Adrian Tofei
Starring: Adrian Tofei, Sonia Teodoriu and Florentina Hariton
Now for this film, I had originally heard this film as it was reviewed on a podcast that I listen to. I got the opportunity to see it at the Nightmares Film Festival, as it was the last film showed that night. The official synopsis is an aspiring Romanian filmmaker obsessed with Hollywood actress Anne Hathaway goes to shocking extremes to convince her to star in his upcoming film.
This is another film that made me feel quite uncomfortable and I really enjoyed that aspect of it. We have our main character, Adrian (Adrian Tofei) who is also the writer, director and star of the film. He is entranced with the performance that Anne Hathaway performed in The Dark Knight Rises, so much so that he wants her to star in his film. This film is trying to a demo reel of what his film will be to convince her to come to Romania to star in it.
He rents out an apartment that will be used for filming and as an almost place to store his materials. The building he is using is kind of old and there are a lot of rooms for him to use in the basement as well. His idea for the film he wants to make is that there is man who is obsessed with an actress. She rejects him so he decides to kidnap her. He makes her wear a cat outfit, as the character also really loves cats, but also kills her in the end.
Adrian puts out a casting call looking for someone similar to how Anne looks and similar body types. The first one he casts is Sonya (Sonia Teodoriu). They film some scenes and Adrian is quite tough on her. He frustrates her quite bit. We do get to a point where he wants her to reject him and it gets so real that she calls the police. They do nothing, knowing that it is a film. He ends up killing her back in the apartment. He casts a couple more actresses for this film as well.
I have to give a lot of credit to the filmmaker for this one. The sense of realism is really unnerving. I knew coming in that this film wasn’t real, but I felt quite uncomfortable still. Tofei does a great job in bringing this character to life to the point that I’m not entirely sure that he’s not really the character we see in the film. The acting for this is pretty amazing in acting normal and making it seem like this is all real. That is something this film really needed.
There were some slight issues with pacing for this film that I had. It has a low running time and it doesn’t waste any time there. That’s not where my issue came from. It came more from Adrian as he constantly repeats some of the same things over and over as well as showing a little bit too many of the takes. I get what he is going for there and it is bringing that sense of realism that a director would do on a real set. It was hard to watch some of it. Seeing the actresses being broken down through this was good, especially for the realism. It is definitely a Catch-22 for the film. The ending was quite interesting and not really something I was expecting to be honest. I like the film also trying to state this is based on true events in Romania, because it felt like it could be.
There’s not really a lot in the way of effects and I give the film credit that some of it is done off screen. This seemed to be a choice to preserve the realism as well as to not have to spend more to make it look more real. I do wish they would have showed more though than what we got. Sonya’s death was well done, but we should have at least gotten the aftermath of what happened to Flory (Florentina Hariton). Leaving some to the imagination is good, but we need a bit of payoff there.
Being that this is found footage, I’m glad a soundtrack isn’t really used. The sound design is literally the sounds that are happening around them, which is good for the realism. The screams that are heard and the panic in their voices feel real as well. The ambient noise around them was also used very well.
Now with that said, this film is quite disturbing in the same way that a found footage is trying to give. What is scary is that this could literally happen. Being that this film is in Romania, I’m not surprised at things that a person like Adrian could get away with it. The acting for the film really helps bring it to film and with the realism. Same goes with the soundtrack to the film. I like that we see the director breaking down his actresses, but it did get to be a bit too much at times. I also wanted to see a bit more of the effects. I get reasons why we don’t, but we needed that payoff. I still think this is a disturbing film that was quite unnerving. I found it to be an above average and a good case of how found footage can be used properly.
My Rating: 7 out of 10