Anihu (Fatso)

Roni Sinai and Etgar Keret. From a story by Etgar Keret. Music by Yoni Rechter. Directed by Shirili Deshe. Cameri, March 3.

A SCENE from ‘Anihu’ (photo credit: YOSSI TZEVKER)
A SCENE from ‘Anihu’
(photo credit: YOSSI TZEVKER)
Anihu (Udi Rothschild) is really Avihu, except that someone misspelled or mispronounced his name at birth, and that’s the only ordinary gag in this 90 minute riotously, light-as-angel-food-cake, and cumulatively comic romantic farce that has more improbable situations and characters per second than most people could think up in a year. 
It all starts when pool lifeguard Anihu meets Ijo (Rubi Moskovitch), an itinerant musician at the corner of King George and Rashi streets in Tel Aviv, and starts to tell a story. You see, Anihu’s in love. He’s in love with beautiful guitar teacher Reut (Avigail Harari), which is fine, except that at night she becomes clumsy Morris (Alon Dahan) who’s imperiled because… oh never mind. 
Comedic Mt. Pelion gets piled on Mt. Ossa as we reach Mt. Olympus (and gold) with characters like Anihu’s I’m OK, you’re OK Mom (Aya Granit Shva), sinister Herzl (Nadav Assulin), incompetent physician Yochanan (Eli Gorenstein), and Shoham Sheiner as “various characters.”
Combine the above with Yoni Rechter’s soulful, tuneful songs, Svetlana Brega’s portable, admirable set pieces, Orna Smorgonski’s remarkably unremarkable costumes, Roni Cohen’s nifty lighting, Deshe’s directional yeast not least, and there before you is a banquet.
Moreover, Deshe chose from among the Cameri’s most accomplished comedic actors. Rubi Moskovitch is funny if he just twitches an eyebrow but in this he’s almost the straightman as mournful Ijo. Rothschild misses not a beat as he runs the gamut from ardent to zany. Harari is virtuoso-ly ingenuous as Reut while Dahan (as usual) mulcts put upon Morris of every comic drop. Granit Shva, Gorenstein and Assulin each inimitably puts across characters, eliciting giggles to guffaws with almost every move. Shoham Sheiner? He’s delicious.
Anihu is overlong, especially toward the end, by 15 minutes that could easily be cut.
Anihu flirts, teases, tickles, glitters. It’s perfectly escapist. Reality? To be avoided, no?