Ignacio (Walter Jakob) suffers from insomnia, and what little sleep he has is disturbed by one recurring nightmare he has had every single night for the past six months. His relationship is on hold (, because of his condition, we assume), and we learn that he has already seen two psychologists, the second of whom referred him to a specialist, who prescribed him more medicine and referred him to a third psychologist.
No-one seems to be able to help, or able to explain Ignacio’s condition, but everyone around him seems to reserve the right to interpret his dream or to judge him in some way.
These experiences of a stoic man facing an ongoing ordeal are mildly comical, and this short film would be rather good if it kept its focus on that aspect.
Instead, the film takes a left turn and heads for an overly absurdist ending. An ending that does only come after a seemingly endless retardation moment, which makes this 22-minute short feel much longer. The worst thing about the ending is that nowhere in the story has anything been set up to which this ending would serve as a pay-off. A fact which makes the ending seem weak, which is worse than simply being overly absurd.
The acting is not bad, but there is barely any room here for anyone but the central character. Walter Jakob does definitely do a good job in the leading role, but I feel he does not really get the chance to shine, due to the film’s weirdness which is mostly to blame on the writing and directing. It is odd that Santiago Esteves follows Cinco tardes sin Clara and Los crímenes with this short, as Un sueño recurrente is weaker, and compared to Los crímenes feels like a step backwards.
Despite some initial sparks, this odd short cannot be rated much higher than 5.5 out of 10.
PS: Like his previous shorts, Un sueño recurrente is also available via the director’s website: http://www.santiagoesteves.com/corto_usr.php