Modern, bourgeois life is stressful, but a lot of the stress is of our own petty devising, according to Polish first-time feature director Paweł Maślona’s energetic, well-crafted, but ultimately rather empty “Panic Attack
.” A Warsaw-set ensemble comedy in which six separate storylines showcase a selection of Varsovians brought to near nervous collapse trying to maintain self-serving deceptions, it should play well at home and to local/regional audiences eager for depictions of contemporary life in Eastern Europe that are less dour than those usually afforded by the festival circuit. But while the film is an attractive calling-card for Maślona, its proudly commercial sensibilities make “Panic Attack
” an atypical choice in the Karlovy Vary competition lineup, and its glibness may leave international art-house viewers feeling shortchanged.
Comparisons with Damián Szifron
’s similarly antic and tragicomic “Wild Tales
” are inevitable, but Maślona’s movie is in some ways the more ambitious.