Review by Mark Schwab
The titular character in SAVING BORSHIA understandably goes out of his mind when he gets thrown out of his crummy band, thrown out of his apartment and thrown out of his relationship when he walks in on his girlfriend getting her toes sucked by another guy - all of which happens basically in the first 10 minutes. Where to go from here? Turns out there's plenty of great material to explore from Writer/Director Dominic Perez who creates a film that slowly sneaks up on you.
Michael Patrick Kane stars as Borshia who, after a total nervous breakdown at a lake, is rescued by a small independent film crew making their first feature...on 16mm film...with a Bolex...in black and white. Nice touch. After the rescue, Borshia experiences an inner transformation, doing a total personality shift from the beginning of the film. As the film crew takes Borshia under their wings ("Can you hold a boom pole?"), they can't help but be affected by his new peace and oneness with all things.
Watching Kane transform from stressed-out mess into serene metaphysician is genuinely funny because he creates situations organically from his character and not from contrived external stupidity. He's really quite perfectly cast - imagine Andy Dick if he was a really good actor (trust me, this is a compliment). One scene in particular stands out when Borshia and the uptight cameraman (Balstar Beckeld - terrific as well) share a late night talk about who their favorite filmmakers are. This scene is so pitch-perfect and hilariously self-aware that it should almost be required viewing for incoming film school students.
So Perez clearly "gets it" as he skewers pretentious indie filmmaking and the New Age Movement without condescending to either group and I had a big smile on my face immediately that turned into out-loud laughs as the movie trotted along. The cast is game, the script is a breath of fresh air and the targets are ripe for humor.
Premiering at the 2016 Cinequest film festival on March 5th, SAVING BORSHIA should absolutely be sought out and savored.