The Slovenian film “Inventory” invokes memories of Hitchcock and Kafka. It is an interesting mix of dark comedy, a thriller and a man in the dark about who his enemies might be until it drives him just about mad.
Boris Robič is man just past middle age who is a technical assistant at a business college. He is an unassuming man. One night after dinner in his study two shots pierce his window. Boris is not injured. The police are called and an investigation begins. Boris responds to police questioning that he has no known enemies. The police encourage him to create an inventory of all his relationships so they can try and identify suspects. Boris obliges the police who review all his relationships and conclude there are no suspects or witnesses hence the investigation will be closed. But it is not closed in the mind of Boris who starts his own investigation and finds his best friend dislikes him for stealing his girl and marrying her but only enough to spit in his beer and not kill him!
It is like Josef K. in Franz Kafka’s “The Trial” who is put on trial for crimes he does even know what they are. There may be a killer out for Boris but it is beginning to drive him mad as he can’t figure out who that assassin may be! The tension mounts and Boris seems to be heading for a mental smash up. He starts to think his wife is poisoning his food so she can be a benefactor under his life insurance policy.
His colleagues and superiors at the business college urge him to take some time off for his own good but this seems more of a tactic to distance themselves from Boris and his perceived nefarious dealings than concern for his well being. One gets the feeling that Boris is like Jimmy Stewart in Hitchcock’s 1954 “Rear Window” suspecting but not being able to prove that the person in his binocular’s sight is a killer. A feeling of hopelessness and the thrill awaiting the viewer of justice being done.
Then like magic the police appear to have cracked the case and discovered the assailant. Boris returns to his old self. Well the ballistics don’t match. Boris is back in the rabbit hole.
Boris played by Rados Bolcina is an everyday type of guy suddenly caught in a potentially terrible crime that at first puzzles him but then drives into unhealthy obsession very much like Jimmy Stewart in “Rear Window” but is not delivered the satisfaction of seeing the apprehension of a criminal.
“Inventory” is part of the 2021 Canadian European Union Film Festival and can be seen virtually on November 12 and 13.
The 106-minute film is written and directed by Darko Sinko. In Slovenian with English subtitles. For more information you can see the Festival’s website at https://www.cfi-icf.ca/euff
You can see the tailer here https://deadline.com/video/inventory-trailer-slovenia-comedy-thriller-san-sebastian/