I Act, I Am (Miroslav Mandic, 2018): Slovenia

Reviewed by Jackson Davis. Viewed at the Santa Barbara Film Festival.

I Act, I Am explores the interesting idea that a character actor’s role isn’t limited to the set. The film is divided into 3 separate part, each following a different actor and how their dedication for their role starts a downward spiral for their personal lives. The first segment follows a young girl who, after receiving the part of a thief for a local film, begins to commit actual robberies under the guise that it will help her get more into character. With stakes building with each theft, it begins to interfere with here ability to preform, as well as her relationship with her boyfriend. The second part follows a Shakespearean stage actor, who wanting a more authentic performance a a homeless man for his upcoming film, starts spending nights out on the street. He quickly starts spending more time on the streets, which begins to create conflicts with his marriage, and his career. The third and final segment follows a soap opera star, and how he confuses their relationship on-air with real life, to disastrous effects.

The film expertly plays off its absurdity, to an almost comedic effect. Framing each scene almost as a comedy (high-key lighting, exaggerated camera movements, etc.) helps to keep the audience connected to the characters as they make more and more unrealistic decisions. Personally, I think one of the first two segments should’ve been cut, as they both effectively tell the same story: how the actors desire for a more realistic performance negatively impacts their relationships. The third segment however, was beautifully done, as it covered newer ground than the first two, and explored just how the actor’s choices built up against them, instead of just action-to-reaction.

Overall, its a very interesting film. The film had a lot to say, concluding that life just may be a big act, and it displays this brilliantly, wioth only minor hiccups.

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