film in spotlight
The Art of Passion
Several couples wishing to revive their long-term relationships with emotions and desire come to a course lead by an ambitious couple therapist whose theory consists in the belief that a couple’s happiness is based on a maximum spiritual and bodily closeness of both the partners. “Cuddle firmly as much as possible, share your time, emotions and ideas. And – above all – no secrets, that’s the only way to become a binary being that is going to be happy.” However, a very firm hug can easily turn into strangling, strangling into choking, and the therapy into a murder. Especially if the tension has been accumulating over the years. The protagonist is Helena, a lovely, self-respecting woman. She doesn’t remember exactly how many passion courses she has attended, but she is quite sure that this one is the last one. As Jan in Tiger Theory, she opts for a rather absurd solution, but most of the viewers will understand her feelings. She has been facing the reproaches of her husband for such a long time that her embrace has become rather weak, until one day she holds him firm to death. Did she do it intentionally? Or subconsciously? Or was it just an unlucky accident? At the beginning, she might not know herself.
The rescuers and criminalists ask themselves with certain logic: Can you press one’s artery for mistake? And who is guilty, then? The lady? The victim? The paradigm shared in the society? Or just that stupid method? The loop begins to tighten around the likeable protagonist, the conflict between the irrational world of relationships with the logical machinery of the investigation first looks comical, but it cannot end well for the main character. After all, it comes to the conclusion that the criminalists are also only human… And the moron who was asking for it won’t get it back, but it might bring a catharsis for the others. In the light of the accident – or murder – their relationship stereotypes get into a newer, more serious and sometimes funnier context. They might understand that there are other values and ways how to love each other, rather than strangling their partners and pressing emotions from them. That to maintain one’s space, freedom and oxygen may, paradoxically, mean to be closer. To respect one another may be of greater value than to share every instant. And that “the effort to flow into one another is actually the murder of desire and subsequently of the entire relationship” – as the couple therapist Esther Perelová would put it.
Feature Film, Comedy, Drama