Andreas Berger and Alexander Polic brought back in ‘Agony’ a vibe that we almost forgot of – the theatrical vibe. In this short film, George Birch, the undertaker of a small village finds himself in the presence of dead bodies on a daily basis. Being in this situation, from time to time, he engages in casual relationships with them; but at some point, guilt intervenes, and the nightmares are starting to take over his life.
Andreas Berger and Alexander Polic’s short is the play we’ve been waiting to see for so long. Though the drama of the man overflowed by guilt is a recurrent theme in literature and film, this story successfully follows the pattern we’ve read about in the past. George Birch, the main character, is nothing but a crazy person, a bizarre creature, a lunatic. He is a necrophiliac, a sadistic person, a heartless undertaker, and nothing can hold him back. He seems like the powerful villain, the untouchable person... until one day when the mind starts taking over the body and when all the bad things start to come into his life. The mind plays tricks on him, making him go insane, just as the typical deranged person who is overpowered by their sick mind.
The whole thing is narrated through the perspective of Friedrich Phillip von Junzt, a man capable of telling his story with great details, as George Birch is just a lab rat, and this is just another one of his experiments. This narrative viewpoint comes with some perks – first of all, it gives the viewer many unique perspectives. Second of all, it changes the key of understanding the story, all the more so since if watched for several times, the movie unveils new details every time. Berger and Polic crafted a plot and a world where the “bizarre” stands out as a general, ongoing mood. If you want to fully understand 'Agony', then be prepared to go crazy with it!
Written by Vlad A. G