Though too enigmatic, ‘The Dog’s Dream’ is promising for its director

«In my dreams, I am always someone else…» This phrase is probably the key to understanding Angelos Frantzis’s latest film «The Dog’s Dream,» starring Constantinos Markoulakis, Aris Servetalis, Peggy Trikalioti and Lina Sakka, and currently playing at selected movie theaters. It describes the spirit as well as the flesh of a fantastical story, which unfolds more as a feeling than as an emotion, and as more of a subconscious statement than a conscious one. The plot is elusive, too complex to put into words. You can, however, describe scenes and frames, and point out parts of the whole which remains incomplete: A magical night in Athens. A man dreams of a strange burglary and discovers that in «reality» as well, everything has been stolen. A policeman with an unorthodox investigatory method is trying to solve the mystery, but the mystery becomes more and more enigmatic over the course of the night. All sorts of strange occurrences befall the lead characters; there are odd encounters and transformations. One impression (because all we can have is impressions for a film that remains so enigmatic) is that we have a beautifully crafted portrait of Athens at night as a ghost town that is humid, secretive and dark. The film-noir feel the director has given his picture is thought provoking, as are certain scenes like the one where the lead actress is holding a magic wand that allows her to fulfill everyone’s desires and secret thoughts. This romantic, nostalgic part of the film (which somewhat brings to mind «Le fabuleux destin d’Amelie Poulain») is also the most complete. It creates a unity which could, as a short film, stand on its own. Before and after this scene, though, the film is asea, drowning the viewer in inexplicable events, a shifting focus and an unclear core. The sets, lighting and overall aesthetic are interesting, but the plot is like from a screenplay had never been written; as if an idea, which could have been developed as a short piece of experimental film making, was stretched beyond capacity and therefore shattered. Nevertheless, in this, his second feature film after «Polaroid,» Frantzis comes across as a promising young director.

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