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  Mosquito State Invest Or Infest?
Year: 2020
Director: Filip Jan Rymsza
Stars: Beau Knapp, Charlotte Vega, Jack Kesy, Olivier Martinez, Audrey Wasilewski, Daisy Bishop, Dominika Kacklik, Maximilian Kubiak, Seetharaman Krishna, Hai Hung Dinh, Wojciech Bocianowski, Krystin Goodwin, Kelly Dean Cooper, Carolina Espiro
Genre: Horror, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Richard Boca (Beau Knapp) has decided to attend his first party in years: it's an office occasion, and some of the top names of the acquaintance or employ of big boss man Edward Werner (Olivier Martinez) are there, many of them celebrating how rich they have become in the finance world in recent years, and in 2007 it seems as if that particular party will never end. Richard is the man who has used algorithms to fasion a program that will predict how the market will go and what to invest in, and one woman, a wine bar owner called Lena (Charlotte Vega) finds that intriguing, but something else finds him intriguing too: a mosquito.

Cross Repulsion with The Fly and... you probably would not get Mosquito State, but you might get somewhere near it. Delayed satisfaction was the order of the day when the hero - or antihero? - began to look like The Hunchback of Notre Dame would if you were constantly expecting poor old Quasimodo would explode at any minute. He even got his own Esmeralda with Lena, who goes back to his spacious apartment after the party and tries to make the obvious misfit feel comfortable, presumably in the concept that some women love a challenge, though you imagine there's a challenge and there's the north face of the Eiger when you see Richard.

A weirdly unsympathetic soul, apparently thanks to having immersed himself in his work and placed it at paramount importance in his life, so is able to afford the swanky apartment but never has any friends over or anyone to share it with since relationships are utterly beyond him, Richard is bitten by that insect early on, a bite that grows into a boil that infects the rest of his body. Lena seems partly responsible for the mosquito apartment apocalypse that infects Richard's living space, for it is she who leaves a quickly contaminated glass of water on the bedside table when any attempt at getting intimate is rejected, not quite thrown back in her face, but she does opt to leave.

Bearing in mind the date this was set in, a few months before the economic meltdown the people like Richard's colleagues caused, forcing millions from their homes as they bet on their inability to pay back their loans, there was an accusing finger being pointed here, and the protagonist comes across as just as culpable as the others, if only because nobody listens to him when he points out the warning signs of a crash are there in his charts. Indeed, they are relying on his financial voodoo so much they wave away his breakdown as not even evidence of overwork, if anything they want him to get his nose back to the grindstone pronto, despite looking like a man who needs a few weeks in hospital to recover from, er, whatever is supposed to be wrong with him in the first place.

Meanwhile, the mosquito population he is encouraging grows and he regards them as his collective friend, going as far as lecturing them when their "mother", the original mosquito, dies in the bedroom. Whether they have achieved consciousness is a different matter, it's difficult to say, but Richard is losing his consciousness in the process of attributing one to his new housemates, obsessing over them without seeing the disgusting bigger picture, much as the financial wizards got up to morally disgusting practices yet lacked the self-awareness to break the cycle of capitalising on other's ruined lives. At least, that’s what you assume director Filip Jan Rymsza was getting at, as quite a bit was so oblique, such as a nightmare sequence on a bullfighting theme, that you could ponder whether the film was really getting its points across. Also, if you are one of those viewers who watches a movie asking, "When do we get to the fireworks factory?" be warned: we do not get to the fireworks factory. Music by Cezary Skubiczewski.

[AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY ON SHUDDER, 26TH AUGUST 2021.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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