FOR FILMS IN CHARGE OF CHANGE
MAIN COURSE DIVORCE
directed by Peter Stilla
In a different world than the one we are familiar with, people’s dream is to get divorced. Marriages, lawyers, restaurants, all revolve around the lifelong dream of divorcing someone you hate. Hostility and disgust animate human relationships and love is an old-fashioned, undesirable outcome. Main course divorce proposes an ironic view of marriage and divorce, while depicting absurd, yet humorous situations.
A family-run Spanish restaurant in London becomes the setting for marriage and divorce proposals. In this upside-down alternate reality, people get married in order to reach the ultimate goal in life: divorce. Moreover, marriages are hatred-driven and people that love each other never get married. Ridiculously enough, the only socially acceptable behaviors and relationships are fueled by disgust, hatred and cheating.
Similar to marriage, there is a whole profitable business built around divorce: lawyers, restaurants and other services. However, as inverted as this alternate reality might be, some apparently absurd situations are reminiscent of the present reality. The humorous, ironic perspective of the film seems to point to behaviours and situations that are common nowadays. The characters’ obsession with getting divorced, as well as their thorough preparation and anticipation for this occasion remind of people’s preoccupation with getting married. On the other hand, the director’s critical approach appears to extend to the increasing rates of marriage failures as well.
As absurd as the filmmaker’s conceptualization of an alternate world might be, his perspective doesn’t seem far-fetched. Though it’s a long way until people’s lifelong dream will be of getting divorced, it’s widely known that a large part of marriages end up in divorce. However, the rare, yet real occurrence of people falling in love allows for an optimistic closure of this film.
Despite the humorous qualities of the short, "Main course divorce" disappoints in terms of editing and sound. The captions between scenes that summarize the time frame and context don’t constitute a tasteful choice. Moreover, the abrupt introduction of the Spanish song between scenes disrupts the film’s flow and dynamics. The transitions between scenes could have been more smoothly made. However, the acting is more than decent for a low-budget film and the cinematography manages to accurately capture the absurd, yet funny situations and characters.
Ultimately, "Main course divorce" is a low-budget film that succeeds in creating an alternate world full of absurdities. The ironic tone is a great asset to this short which, besides being humorous, raises questions and doubts about our current reality. The filmmaker has a lot of potential, though he needs improvement in terms of stylistic and aesthetic approach.