The shelves of the supermarket are filled but Anna Pilarinou’s life is empty; branded as “the slowest cashier” by her manager Yannis and keeping her colleagues at a distance, she is the obvious person to be let go in order to cut costs but she manages to bargain her way out of it, randomly suggesting that he instead fire Pantelis, the delivery driver who is one of the few who could be seen as her friend.
Living alone, Anna dreams of drifting serenely down the aisles, her trolley lifting from the smooth vinyl tiles away from the rows of wine and cleaning products as she consumes packet after packet of watermelon flavoured Cosmic Candy, lifted to another place where she is not looked down upon, where she is not at odds with her odd neighbours.
Directed by Rinio Dragasaki from a script co-written with Katerina Kaklamani, Cosmic Candy is an unusual selection for the Sci-Fi London film festival, the sparse science fiction elements peripheral to the narrative and confirmed solely to Anna’s imaginings which border on hallucination, a drone who dreams of, if not being the queen bee, at least of a break from the ordinary.
Recalling the films of Pedro Almodóvar with dayglo colours and tangled relationships with absent family members, particularly 1984’s What Have I Done to Deserve This? (¿Qué he hecho yo para merecer esto!), a tale of domestic distress and desperation, like that film there is an atypical child next door who unbalances the already precarious arrangements.
Starring Maria Kitsou as the deeply put-upon Anna, Pipera Maya is the precocious Persa Petrakou, ten years old and abandoned when her father vanishes, presumptuously moving herself into Anna’s apartment and taking over and disrupting any chance she has with the handsome but justifiably frustrated Pantelis (Kimonas Kouris).
An unanticipated foster mother stumbling through life and into a futile road trip in a stolen supermarket van with her insufferable charge at her side, Anna and her supply of Cosmic Candy meander aimlessly, perhaps a metaphor for life in a deprived suburb of economically depressed modern Greece but a lacklustre calling card for Dragaski’s feature debut.