BE MY CAT: A FILM FOR ANNE **** Romania 2015 Dir: Adrian Tofei. 87 mins
Billed as Romania’s first found footage horror film, this quite sparse, quiet and incredibly creepy film is a fantastic thing to watch. Written, directed, filmed by and starring Adrian Tofei as the main protagonist it is a film recorded by Tofei’s character, also called Adrian, for his unhealthy obsession of actress Anne Hathaway, mostly for her portrayal of Cat Woman, as he tries to convince her to come to his hometown in Romania and be the star of his film.
Due to his various mental health issues he is unable to leave his hometown so films himself with other actresses who believe they are actually starring in a proper film but are really just stand ins to show his obsession, Anne, just how great they would be together and how he could elevate her to the greatest actress ever. This is stalking from afar at its highest level and shows there are no lengths he won’t go to to get what he wants. His disregard for any other person is obvious but he does it so well.
The main cast is all of 4 people; Tofei and the 3 actresses he hires. Sonya (Sonia Teodoriv), Flory (Florentina Hariton) and Alexandra (Alexandra Stroe) and it is hard to say at times if their acting is intentionally awkward or not as on many occasions its quite uncomfortable but it adds to the realism of the film. Tofei’s acting has been described by other sources as “haunting”, “captivating” and “the most believable movie psychopath since Norman Bates” which I completely agree with and the others especially Stroe all put in fine performances.
It is low budget with the emphasis on the characters so the body count is small and the SPFX non existent with the gory details concealed behind a screen which to be honest doesn’t detract from the film at all but encourages you to use your imagination. There are hints of other found footage films, The Blair Witch Project springs instantly to mind, but more in the overall feel than trying to copy them. I did read that Tofei insisted that the 3 actresses watch The Blair Witch, if they hadn’t seen it and read his manifesto on found footage before they began filming Be My Cat so they understood the concept. I also read that Adrian Tofei had been planning this film for years before filming and did in fact move himself and his mother to Radauti, Romania to experience the life his character would live, just goes to show his level of commitment to his vision. There is no soundtrack or incidental music to this film only Adrian’s favourite Romanian folk song which he regales us with from time to time. An incredibly enjoyable film, what it lacks in gory detail it totally makes up for with great character portrayals and uncomfortable scenes.
Review by Sarah Budd