A Comedy of the Absurd
“Panik” is an absurd comedy with many over emotional, oversensitive and highly anxious characters. It is satire, it is weird, and it is very funny. The conflicts are plentiful and they are both tragic and common.
Zsuzsi has a perfect life. At thirty she has a great job, two college degrees, a great car and her own place. Everything is fine until she awakens one day and her heart is racing and she can’t breathe. She had been dropped by her lover and she admits herself to the Panic Clinic. Her physician is a therapist who has high ambitions and who uses strange treatments on her and the other patients. She soon realizes that she must get out of the clinic and again become a member of society.
Everything outside the clinic seems normal. Zsuzsi’s mother and Ilona, her friend go on a shopping spree and hunt for adventure. Ilona has a daughter with a new baby and she is worried abut being a mother, Zsuzsi’s brother wants to free his mother from an alien body snatcher and wants to use a gun to do it. Two super cops argue over what seem to be homosexual tendencies they both experience and they end up fighting. Confusing?—Yes it is. Ultimately Zsuzsi must decide if she is ready to reenter a society like this.
Everything goes on simultaneously but the stories are all connected by the various relationships between the characters or by coincidence or by anxiety. All of them have neuroses of some kind. Everything seems to point to panic disorder and it seems to be the common thread in many modern diseases—depression, ADHD, mania and so on and this film tells the story of that disorder.
As hard as it may seem to follow the film, everything begins to make sense after a few minutes of disorientation. It is just a matter of letting go and enjoying.