ARE YOU FEELING LONELY?

a film by Rosario Garcia-Montero

SHORT FICTION / 16MM / 14 MIN / USA/PERU

Massively affected by the big city, Baddi, a janitor in the morgue, makes phone calls to the yet-to-be-informed widows in an attempt to meet the one that will fulfill his fantasy of love, wealth and social status.

REVIEW

These days, with the proliferation of high speed internet, more information changes hands in less time than ever before in history.  This is even truer outside the United States, and at a lower cost. Videos of cats in boxes are popular. Niche dating sites abound and social networking has changed the landscape in how we can connect. In a city that never sleeps, what does it take for someone to finally make a human connection? Rosario Garcia-Montero’s Are You Feeling Lonely? asks this question, or better yet, intimates at an answer.

Baddi cleans floors in a hospital morgue. Between sweeping and mopping, he rifles through the dead’s belongings. And, in his desperation, he telephones their homes. Baddi forever seeks women who are alive, as he is. When women answer, he talks to them. He tells them he is a surgeon who travels 50% of the time. The other 60% he stays at home. Something just doesn’t add up. Baddi reasons that “In order to like me, you have to know me. In order to know me, you have to talk to me…” Baddi repeatedly asks these women if they are feeling lonely. He talks about movies and invites them to refreshments. We all get thirsty, after all.  And who doesn’t like refreshments? Lilli agrees to refreshments.

Pashu Pathi Ganeshan’s performance is indelible. Quite simply, he is Baddi. Are You Feeling Lonely? concludes how it begins. Baddi is on the telephone at work. At work, when he’s not “cold calling” strangers, he day-dreams.  To a fault, he lives inside his own head. In the daily presence of death, he is not present in his own life. A cab driver attempts a conversation but Baddi will have none of it. In a time-lapse montage he asks himself, “Why Baddi? Don’t be too pushy Baddi. So pushy, pushy, always pushy, Baddi.” If Baddi is so good at talking, and he is, maybe he could listen better. For a man who simply longs to go on a romantic date, this eludes him. Garcia-Montero shows great promise with this original screenplay and direction.  A few years later she more than delivered on such promise with Las Malas Intenciones, her first feature film.