Ani Ve Snu! ( In Your Dreams!)Berlin Film Festival 2016
Whilst Petr Oukropec’s In Your Dreams! (Ani Ve Snu!) may struggle at times with a muddled narrative and a subtext that is lost in translation (both figuratively and literally), the director is to be commended for breathing life into a tired genre in a manner that seems so natural as to be predestined. Thematically, the raison d’être of parkour is one of freedom; competition is often shelved in favour of discovering one’s personal “flow”, of inner victories, of seeking movement free from constraint. Consequently, the themes of self-discovery, personal growth and independence that are the hallmarks of the coming-of-age drama find their parallels in parkour, forming a marriage that now seems as if it were inevitable.
16-year-old Laura (Barbora Štikarová) returns to Prague early from a climbing expedition with her father in order to audition for a local parkour group. Despite the group’s composition being primarily of men, they allow her to try out, and she catches the attention of Luky, the unofficial star of the troupe, and Alex, the group’s videographer whose compilation video they hope will result in their invitation to a parkour competition in San Francisco. Laura finds herself developing unrequited feelings for the roguish Luky, struggling with an identity crisis which manifests itself in frequent dream sequences. Characters in Laura’s life are manipulated at the whim of her innermost fears and desires in a fanciful dreamworld, though it occasionally appears, in reality, that these dreams may have more meaningful consequences for Laura and those in her life.
Ironically, the dream sequences themselves are where the film falls short. The audience is led to question whether there is a precognitive quality to Laura’s visions, as certain scenarios in Laura’s dreams play out in real life. There are also flashes of seemingly random scenes in Laura’s waking moments that imply some kind of latent memory or déja-vu. However, much like the subplot between Laura and her mother as a result of her mother’s new relationship, it never really goes anywhere. The crux of the film is centred around Laura’s own personal development; she struggles to reconcile her brazen independence with her own insecurities and social desires. And while the movie is wonderfully shot – the opening sequence, in particular, is a favourite – with a thoughtful performance from the lead, it remains unclear as to how her surreal dreams aid her in making any personal conclusions.
Ani Ve Snu does not yet have a UK release date.
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