‘The Plan’ is a short independent horror film, produced and filmed in Israel, alongside with the Israeli production company Fourplay Studios. Directed and written by Daniel Fallik and produced by Yotam Motzafi, who also penned the screenplay, ‘The Plan’ has been in production for a total of two months. Brainstorming and writing began on the 25th of January and the final cut was made on the 30th of March. ‘The Plan’ is a masterful visualization of one man’s struggle to let go of a traumatic past by isolating a personal experience. Told calmly through a surreal and twisted setting in muted colors, bare of dialogue, ‘The Plan’ has a psychological intensity that will linger long after watching it. Read on for our full review.
Memories are not always clear and rational. What we remember are emotions; those we felt at the time and those we feel at present, often times preventing us from rational recollection. Attempting to understand the past can be as impossible to us as to look into the future. Ben, the protagonist in Daniel Fallik’s ‘The Plan’ has lived through years of self neglect. Haunted by nightmares that mix his own recollection of a past he can’t let go with his surroundings, his memories are dominated by darkness. While he drowns himself in alcohol, his mind drowns in his own thoughts.
When we meet Ben for the first time, he is alone, isolated in a world of his thoughts. Longing for something simple he had longed for before in a different way; all he wants is freedom. Freedom from impositions by the others around him, and also from his own past. Driven to the end of his wits, he tries desperately to comprehend his own past decisions, and find new meaning for himself. But his only salvation and chance to move forward is to let go of his past. His mind wanders off into a desolate landscape filled with darkness and decay, where he lives through the most important day of his life in a surreal and expressionist dream. While the plot before his mind’s eye, to which we are witness, offers a solution to his torment, ‘The Plan’ offers no closure to the audience whether Ben sees it as well – or remains trapped in his own world filled with misery and masochism.
‘The Plan’ is a minimalist film that manages to keep the audience focused on its subject. The introductory narrative sets the stage for what we are about to experience, illustrated by expressionist images captured by a calm onlooking camera. The surrealism of the images is clearly present from the first scene, fully being exposed once we enter Ben’s dream. The cold and clinically clean diner where the movie begins is as psychologically intense as his messy apartment and the backdrop of the Israeli desert landscape chosen by the makers as the setting for his dream. Although bloody and gory at times, none of the violence and blood in ‘The Plan’ feels forced or out of place, but merely a metaphor used to tell the story. The horror of it all lies clearly on the psychological level. ‘The Plan’ maintains highly sophisticated esthetics throughout its 13 minutes runtime.
‘The Plan’ has no dialogue, which makes the actor’s task that more difficult – and the handful of the cast masters it beautifully. Ben, played by Yahav Winner in the sequences set at present and Boaz Ben Tzur in the dream, comes to life in both incarnations as a character the audience can easily comprehend and identify with. Yasha Soffer, who plays the Master Sergeant and Ben’s opposite throughout the dream, delivers an outstanding performance through his intense acting. The interaction between these two tells the story without words.
Don’t expect horror in the sense of a slasher flick, think more along the lines of George Orwell’s ’1984′ meets an Edgar Alan Poe infused Dali painting. When you get the chance to watch ‘The Plan’, make sure you do. Otherwise you will end up with a decision in your past you wish you could make undone.
Release Date: (TBA)
Director: Daniel Fallik
Author: Daniel Fallik, Yotam Motzafi
Yahav Winner – New Ben
Boaz Ben Tzur – Ben
Yasha Soffer – Master Sergeant
Jonny Wexler – Ben V.O
Efrat Solomon – Waitress
Stav Koznitz – Diner Guest
Einat Arieli – Diner Guest