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Day of the Wacko

A nonstop screwball screed against the multitude of perceived indignities in contempo Poland, and, by association, the modern world, irreverent social comedy "Day of the Wacko" sports a frazzled leading perf from Marek Kondrat as a histrionic misanthrope that makes Jack Nicholson's turn in "As Good as It Gets" look positively serene.

A nonstop screwball screed against the multitude of perceived indignities in contempo Poland, and, by association, the modern world, irreverent social comedy “Day of the Wacko” sports a frazzled leading perf from Marek Kondrat as a histrionic misanthrope that makes Jack Nicholson’s turn in “As Good as It Gets” look positively serene. Though many of the barbs seem aimed at particular Polish sacred cows and more than a few sequences fall flat, sheer chutzpah alone should propel this unique item to brave fests and perhaps a bit of business.

Kondrat blusters vigorously as everyman Adam Miauczynski, a teacher who via incessant narration talks aud through every little movement of his day, from arcane, compulsive rituals to pet peeves (which range from too much junk mail to anything involving dogs). Helmer Marek Koterski never met a gag he didn’t want to milk to the last squeeze, with often diminishing returns. Yet a handful of conveyance-based sequences provide belly-laughs, including intricate choreography on a series of public buses and an extended train trip that provokes Adam to blurt out in anguish, “Where are these weird people coming from?” Tech credits are crisp.

Day of the Wacko

Poland

Production: A Vision Film Distribution Co. (Poland) release of a Zebra Film, Vision Film, Non Stop Film Service production. (International sales: Vision Film Distribution, Warsaw.) Produced by Juliusz Machulski, Wlodzimeirz Otulak. Directed, written by Marek Koterski.

Crew: Camera (color), Jacek Blawut; editor, Ewa Small; music, Jerzy Satanowski, Frederic Chopin; art director, Przemyslaw Kowalski. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Intl. Forum of New Cinema), Feb. 9, 2003. Running time: 93 MIN.

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