An unrequited love story unravels into the stuff of nightmares in this surreal animation
Set in a claustrophobic apartment space, Mr. Mare explores the dynamics between love and obsession in codependent relationships. A miniature man, Mr. Mare, starts his life as a tumor on his partner’s body. Once he is born, his entire world revolves around his host. Director Luca Tóth takes “being attached at the hip” to new metaphoric levels in a film that explores what makes people remain in toxic relationships.
Mr. Mare roams the expanse of his partner’s flat, taking notes in a tiny notepad, examining every object, and tidying up whenever he can; he likes to make his presence felt to compensate for being small and going unnoticed. The home becomes a visual device that reflects the one-sided nature of their relationship and Mr. Mare’s efforts that have gone to waste.
“He is a baby-man, exploring the world around him while discovering himself along the way,” says Tóth, who views Mr. Mare as a lovable character, despite the nightmarish origins of the name. German folklore speaks of ‘Mares’ as creatures that ride on sleeping chests and bring bad dreams. This is reminiscent of a scene where Mr. Mare humps his partner’s finger while he sleeps, blissfully unaware. Despite all of the mini man’s questionable actions, Tóth has created an earnest character that many would unconsciously root for.
Mr. Mare flirts with the line between love and obsession and knowing when it’s time to call it quits. Our pint-sized creature realizes he has to break the cycle of attachment and step out of his comfort zone; he eventually leaves behind his partner, and the flat that encompassed his whole world, to find new pastures.
Text by Sihaam NaikNovember 30, 2020