“Alas, once again unhappy ending! But this is how life goes.”

This short comedy is an unusual, enterprising film with some uncommon elements. For an extra touch of mystery, the story is told by an eccentric narrator. Even so, his character might seem quite out of context and more or less unnecessary.

The Unfortunate Events of Mr. Maznikow is mocking the life of politicians and it exaggerates the situation regular people are living in. It tries to portray the gap between those in power in those less fortunate by emphasising how the government never listens to the people and does nothing to help. Nonetheless, the way the characters behave is absurd and not common in the civilisation we live in.

Mr. Maznikow’s indifference is portrayed with him just doing some origami and playing the saxophone during his working hours. Every so often the story cuts to show what is happening to his parents. Those scenes are silent with intertitles, which indicate the outmoded life regular people have to live in comparison to those in the government. Both of these stories end tragically, but the story of his parents does not appear comical.

The sound and music in the film do not always fit. The beginning has no background music, which makes it seem a bit distant. The scene with the deputy minister is accompanied with bird singing sounds that are too loud and stop suddenly after a shout. Meanwhile, some scenes that could benefit from some background music, like the scene after the minister chokes, have none, and therefore they do not come across as genuine, not even comical.

The film tries to get the viewer’s attention with unnecessary effects instead of an interesting plot. The scene with the dentist is excessively edited, which makes the whole film feel unbalanced. Moreover, neither the opening scene nor the last one harmonises with the film well.

The unfortunate events of Mr. Maznikow is an interesting film, but it only appeals to a certain type of person. The cinematography is very dynamic. The director had many creative ideas, which makes the film quite entertaining. However, the end product might not fulfil the expectations of some viewers.

As a minister, Mr. Maznikow has a difficult mission of doing nothing. Meanwhile, his parents depend on his approval to launch the Civil Protection as they need to reach the doctor in a heavy storm. In the end, circumstances are left to chance of nature to decide the outcome.


The unfortunate events of Mr. Maznikow (Bulgaria, 2015, 16 min)
Director: Veselin Zografov