Left: Meow. Right: Alex Kaplan. Or are they?Frozen Days
(ימים קפואים, Yamim Kfu'im
) is a 2005 Israeli indie film.
A young girl goes through life squatting apartments in Tel-Aviv, selling drugs for a man known as ‘Schultzi’, and chatting in chatrooms for fun using the name ‘Meow’. After her motorcycle is stolen, she arranges a meeting with a man named Alex Kaplan she chats with; after some stumbling, she gets him to meet her at a club she sells her product at, but, this being the Second Intifada
, the club is bombed before they can meet.
Having taken his keys from his apartment earlier, she moves into his apartment, slowly assuming his identity and avoiding having her true identity revealed. Slowly but surely, weirder and weirder things start happening to her as a result...
The film was nominated for two Ophir Awards
for Best Actress (for Anat Klausner who played Meow) and Best Shooting, and one the Best Feature Film in the 2005 Haifa Film Festival. Klausner co-won (with actress Asi Levi) the Best Actress award as well.
This film provides examples of:
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Meow has one of these, while wearing Alex’s shirt.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted in the twist ending, in which Meow’s face under the bandages is very badly bruised.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Meow’s customer ‘Nakhman’s nice, happy demeanour is implied to be only skin-deep; when he urges Meow to conduct herself ‘pleasantly’ and repeats the saying ‘the smile is the secret of happiness’, he sounds almost menacing. Subverted, as Meow overpowers him later on.
- Bifauxnen: Meow, by the end of the film.
- Bruiser with a Soft Center: Meow appears very rough around the edges, but what she really wants is a man who will lover her, listen to her rambling, tell her it’ll be fine, and bid her good night.
- The Cameo: Famous musician and actor Maor Cohen appears as one of the party-goers in the club.
- Convenient Coma: Alex is in a vegetative state after the bombing; the nurse showing Meow to him says he was in luck. near the ending, Meow says the doctors say his condition is stable and will improve.
- Deliberately Monochrome: The whole film, except for the scene in which Meow is under the influence of her own hallucinogenic drugs.
- Dream Sequence: Meow has two shown on screen. So is everything that happens after the bombing. How much of the rest of the film before this is this is anyone’s guess.
- Fanservice: Meow is seen naked in the shower room several times.
- Film Noir: The deliberate monochrome and most of the film being shot during night-time to get this feel. And because many members of the cast and crew had work.
- Meow’s dream before her meeting with Alex.
- The news reporter after the bombing who mentions that a young woman suffered severe head trauma.
- Full-Name Basis: That’s how Meow figures Alex’s employee has no clue who he is, and she can take his place.
- Gainax Ending: Oddly enough, it’s both this and a Mind Screwdriver.
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: Some recent events start repeating themselves, only this time Meow plays a different role in them.
- Gender-Blender Name: Alex. This is how Meow can assume his identity.
- Insistent Terminology: Meow corrects the officers who tell her her motorcycle was found, insisting it’s a scooter. She doesn’t seem to mind it much after that, though.
- Little Miss Badass: Subverted in the beginning of the film, when Meow fails to catch the person who stole her motorcycle.
- Loss of Identity
- Madness Mantra: After discovering her hair trimmed short, with no memory of it having been cut:
Meow: It’s not me, it’s not me, it’s not me...
- Meaningful Name: The club’s name is Coma 2, and is where Alex becomes comatose.
- Mind Screwdriver: The ending. Somewhat.
- Mistaken Identity: The main premise of this film is playing with this for drama.
- Mood Whiplash: The colourful hallucinogenic scene ends with a sudden boom.
- No Name Given: Meow is known by her nickname, Schultzi may or may not be a nickname (as opposed to a pet name), and Alex Kaplan is known by his real name (assuming he’s real). No other names are given.
- Nosy Neighbor: Subverted. The neighbor who greets Meow as ‘Ms. Kaplan’ turns out to be merely polite and have no idea who Alex Kaplan really is, having never spoken to him before, and not really caring who Meow really is; she just addressed her that way because she saw her living in his apartment and taking his mail every day.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: The bureaucrat from the police would not return Meow’s stolen motorcycle without a proof of identity, despite the policemen knowing her name and where to find her and the fact that she had the keys to it. Meow is very upset by this.
Meow: You know perfectly well who I am!
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Meow and (possibly) Schultzi and Nakhman, Meow’s customer, nicknamed so for being a Breslover.
- Only Sane Man: In her predicament, Meow expects Schultzi to be this and call her by her real name. He doesn’t.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: Meow is physically small, but able to overpower ‘Nakhman’, a customer who is larger and seemingly stronger than her when she thinks is trying to fool her. Soon afterwards she realises he’s unaware of the "Groundhog Day" Loop she’s stuck in.
- Pronoun Trouble: In Hebrew, second-person pronouns, most verbs, and all adjectives also decline by gender. Meow is very unsettled when she goes ‘back’ to work as a guard in ‘Azrieli as ‘Alex’, and the rest of the guards act as if she’s always been Alex, even addressing her as a female.
- Rape as Drama: Subverted: the security guard Meow mistakes for Alex from the ‘Azrieli mall pins her to the wall after she takes his mobile to check if he’s the right person, then calls a colleague on his two-way radio, reporting some girl tried to swipe his mobile.
- The Reveal: It was Meow who was really injured in the bombing.
- Tears of Remorse: Meow breaks into tears in Alex’s apartment after the bombing.
- Tomato in the Mirror: Meow was the comatose one all along.
- Took a Shortcut: Meow tries this to catch the person who stole her motorcycle. It fails.
- Traumatic Haircut: Meow doesn’t even remember it happening and is horrified at the result.
- The Voice: Alex’s face is always obscured by shadows, and later covered in bandages. Schultzi’s voice is heard over the intercom towards the end of the film.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Meow has one. Fortunately it’s brief and shot from an angle from which very little is seen.
- Wham Line:
- Schultzi calls Meow ‘Alex’ off-handedly.
- The girl who keeps calling Alex’s apartment telling Meow that Alex is not in the hospital.
- Wham Shot: The last two: Meow sees the girl who has been calling for Alex, and it turns out to be her. Cut to the bandages being removed off of Alex Kaplan, revealing it to be her.
Who are you?