**World Premiere - Slamdance Film Festival 2016
**European Premiere - Oldenburg Film Festival 2016
"...raw, fierce...is like nothing you've seen: It's brutal and mean and sad and full of hate and pain and humor – and lots of love. It's just about the most un-romanticized portrait of a family dealing with an illness you could imagine. And one of the most real, and honest...Maryann Plunkett is amazing...On a shoestring budget, this young Cleveland director has crafted one of the most powerful, authentic films at CIFF. Keep an eye on him. Grade: A"
-Laura DeMarco, Cleveland Plain Dealer
“...as charming as it is abrasive, somber as it is hostile...Putka and his three fantastic leads concoct an often feverish fury to the snark that both propels and masks their sadness. The vitriol and verve of the banter between family and supporting characters alike (with Mark Reeb's Jerry being the standout thanks to his stellar monologues) often gets to Veep levels of genius, resulting in equal amounts of guffaws and cringes...I feel these kind of toxic if equally vulnerable spaces are rarely found in American indie fare these days, so I'm happy to see it mined here so intelligently...Blunt and blistering with a manic if also elegant sincerity, Putka's brand of folly consistently contradicts itself like this merely because it is so human, so sad, and so true.”
-Ben Umstead, TwitchFilm
“Within the opening minutes, it’s clear that these characters don’t fit into our newfound progressive sensitivity toward the subject. Mad is a slow motion car wreck, exploding the effects of the illness across a mother and her two dysfunctional children...it doesn’t make excuses for its characters or their flaws. This isn’t a feel-good movie about the way family makes everything better. It’s sharp-edged in its humor, and emotional in its understanding of personal histories. And it’s all the better for it, showing that the best movies about the subject of mental illness don’t wave away the consequences, they run headfirst into them... A-”
-Michael Snydel, The Film Stage
“...a farcical dramedy that manages to be both biting and poignant...Robert G. Putka’s script, however, propels MAD with excellent, relentless and 100-percent believable dialogue, which is more wry comedy than tense drama, veering from overblown rants to cutting, underhanded side comments. Noteworthy performances by Plunkett, Cahill and Lafleur lend a solidly character-driven candor to each haranguing exchange...MAD brings to mind David O. Russell’s penchant for affirming dysfunctional family members and the sometimes ridiculous, sometimes brutal ways that they treat each other. The care with which each character is written evokes Alexander Payne and his ability to humanize what would otherwise be unpleasant and objectionable individuals...it crafts a true-to-life glimpse into the subtle ways by which we change, grow and navigate our relationships and lives.”
-Kathy Zhou, SLUG Magazine
"...a lean, mean, dialogue machine that is equal parts bitingly funny and deeply sad. Putka alluded to the fact that hope in MAD may be something fleeting, something that could never last. Well, in that fleeting moment, he found magic with his three-woman ensemble...Cahill, Lafleur and Plunkett are all at the top of their games in MAD. It only helps that Putka’s assured direction makes the film rise above the risible projects that claim to take on mental illness but fall flat...You’ll be seeing Putka’s name in the future, that I’m sure of."
-Sam Cohen, underthegunreview.net