Time and time again, we are impressed by the way a director manages to make the most of the minimum resources to explore the full potential of a seemingly simplistic subject. ‘Way Out‘ is a successful example that fully confirms that any character can be memorable, even in the absence of elaborate action. Reka Almasi’s short film takes this challenge to another level in that we are not only talking about a limited spatial and temporal construct (all the action takes place in a car) but also about a single character who reconsiders his entire existence following an accident. Experiments like this are nothing new, but a performance of this kind is always equally fascinating. In this regard, it’s quite possible that viewers will see in this a shortened version of a feature film like “Locke” (directed by Steven Knight), where, just as in Reka Almasi’s production, a single character “trapped” in his own car totally changes his destiny through the choices he is about to make. This short film is also about destinies, but the discursive stakes launched by the Hungarian director have something of the depth of Jim Jarmusch’s dialogues, as well as the absurd humour of Beckett’s plays. Not by chance, the protagonist of the short film is immobilised in his own car, much like Winnie from “Happy Days”, the embedded Beckettian character who is also on her way to the final revelation of her own existence.

 

It is almost impossible to summarize the narrative stakes of this short film precisely because of its somewhat theatrical qualities that question the depths of everyday language with sensitivity and humour. Thus, the central character communicates by telephone not only with the people who define his own present but also indirectly with his own self from decades ago. While embracing a tender realism, Reka Almasi offers us a succinct x-ray of a soul that almost providentially discovers the inner resources to redefine its entire life. In an introspective, fluid and evanescent style, seemingly at odds with the protagonist’s unhappy actual context, ‘Way Out’ is a captivating experience that bears the stamp of a mature directorial style and a memorable artistic sensibility.

 

For the sensitivity and extremely fine balance between drama and absurd humor with which it captures the trajectory of a destiny, ‘Way Out’ was awarded with the Film of the Month distinction in the May 2024 edition of TMFF.

 

TMFF RATING:

 

 

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