Movie Review: MOSQUITO STATE (2020): A Bug in the Machine
Mosquito State available to stream on Shudder
Mosquito State (2020) movie review, a movie realized by Philippe Jan Rymsza, and featuring Handsome knapp, Charlotte vega, Jack kesy, Olivier Martinez, Audrey Wasilewski, daisy bishop, Dominika kachlik, Krystin Goodwin, Kelly dean cooper, Caroline Espiro, Marc McKinnon, and Blaise Corrigan.
In Mosquito state, director / screenwriter Filip Jan Rymsza offers a beautiful but confusing glimpse into the mind of an obsessive software designer in the financial market. Our first glimpse into the world of Richard Boca (Beau Knapp) comes through the eyes of a young adult mosquito after it makes its way through a sewer and a series of air ducts, emerging in one evening. in black tie sperm Quarterly meeting of a Wall Street brokerage firm. Standing away from the laid back company, Richard stealthily snatches a round slice from the center of a birthday cake.
We watch the mosquito aiming at him, bombarding like a suicide bomber and stinging his neck, followed by a friendly salute; a beautiful couple waves to him from across the room: his boss, Edward (Olivier Martinez) and a young woman, Lena (Charlotte Vega). Edward is shocked in a courteous manner. Lena’s curiosity is piqued by the quirky boy who joins them. A few cocktail jokes ensue, and we learn that Boca is Edward’s “goose that lays golden eggs”, having designed a very precise financial forecasting model.
Boca, however, is as bad at gossip as it is at sliced cakes; he does not respond to the most obvious devices to draw him into the conversation. Richard is one of those who could be described in popular parlance as being “on the spectrum” and generally shuns corporate social functions. He finally makes an appearance on this occasion because of his birthday.
Still without a word, Richard manages to lead Lena back to her apartment (an entire floor in Central Park), and after some deliberation, he finally speaks, in hesitant, sometimes confusing sentences. They seem to get along well until he wanders around her room and buries her face, crying and moaning.
Leave Lena, until they meet again, much later.
Meanwhile, Richard embarks on a particular psychological journey, visibly harnessed to the mosquito that hitchhiked under his collar. The bite develops into something beyond the annoying itch; her face develops patches of swelling which her colleagues comment on but dismiss.
At around this point, Richard’s cognition – already on shaky ground – begins to unravel. Unfortunately, the plot runs its course. It’s hard to say where Rymsza wants to go with all of the subsequent transformations, which are sort of supposed to correlate with stages in the mosquito life cycle, even to name the sections after them.
Richard turns his house into a virtual incubator, making the air tropical, placing containers of standing water next to platters of mashed fruit. Does he see himself as a nurturing drone following the original bite? Alright, why not? Whatever the reason, it works. Soon there are clouds of mosquitoes that he says are obeying his will and commands, and he encourages emerging adults to feed on him.
There is also a strong implicit correlation between his mental disintegration at home and his rebellion in the office, claiming that his model has been corrupted, with dire consequences. He challenges his co-workers when they insist that his request is unfounded and that a shouting match leads to an altercation. Eventually, his secretary, Sally (Audrey Wasilewski) – as the audience stand-in, I guess – begs him to explain what’s going on. (PS: He doesn’t.) On the sly, he replaced the “golden goose” data model with an allegedly patched model that he produced in a matter of days.
OK. Now let’s come back to Lena. She hasn’t answered his frantic phone calls since that first night. He finds her in a wine bar offered by her sugar daddy, Edward. She asks Richard to stop calling her. He tells her not to let Edward “control” her, apparently enough confrontation that she ends up in Richard’s apartment. After a few casual conversations, she sleeps with him (I guess), despite all the swelling and feeding marks.
She later wakes up to find Richard gone and some papers lying on the coffee table giving her her apartment. She stands at the window overlooking Central Park and watches Richard plunge into the lake below, where he straddles the bottom, releasing adult mosquitoes swimming to the surface.
While I can’t give Mosquito state highest marks in terms of clear narrative, the film mounts an emotional pitch that heralds Rymsza as an innovative artist. And at the same time, the actors deserve their fair share of credit. In particular, Knapp brings a certain charm to Boca’s nervous awkwardness, and Vega’s confident Lena is endearingly empathetic.
Equally impressive is the work behind the camera. Without a doubt, the powerful images are unmistakable, elegant and often beautiful, even the most frightening (the mosquito life cycle images are both fascinating and disturbing), and the final scene is remembered.
Presenting narrative abstraction has always been a challenge, and a kind of risk, in any medium, but especially in cinema, because the potential is higher, as well as the stakes. As an interesting aside, compare David Cronenberg’s interpretation of Fly, whose theme is similar to this work, illustrates the advantage of a concrete, linear storytelling that always preserves emotional depth.
Finally, this team of artists (note that the end credits are grouped according to team function, a splendid notion), especially Rymsza, deserves to be watched, and despite its flaws, this film too.
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