Facundo Daniel Adamo, Gisela Viera, Manuela Cid, Toluz Chediex, Crisol Quirós Vasquez, Teddy Boussengui, Marta Alzate Arsuaga, Dorien Keymis, and Rocío Badoza Menduiña
Embrace the strange...
Brought to life by the delirious imaginations contained within Compañía Delirio, Delirium in Restaurant ‘Romance’ is a 29-minute mystery centered around Marcelo (Facundo Adamo) and Serena (Gisela Viera). They are together in the Blue Forest, Marcelo awaiting just the right time to present a surprise to his fiance. When a mysterious restaurant appears along their path, this unassuming couple is swept up into a fantastic world of surrealistic intrigue and eroticism. With dinner underway, their bond becomes tested as this seductive restaurant draws them deeper and deeper into a state of hypnotic delirium.
For those of us watching this Spanish-language film here in the United States, it would be hard to watch the film without bringing to mind the similarly eroticized world of Rocky Horror, though this is a film with much more going on and a far more immersive palette of dance, music, color, and more. Influences from Jeunet to Gondry to even Herk Harvey radiate throughout this film that both tells a compelling story and stretches the boundaries of it. Exploring themes of self-discovery, acceptance, and radical transformation, Delirium in Restaurant ‘Romance’ benefits from the delightful pairing of Facundo Adamo as the awkward yet enchanting Marcelo and Gisela Viera as the endearing yet sensual Serena. There's a natural intimacy between the two that makes us immediately believe in them, however, there's also always something just a little amiss in how they touch, speak, and generally engage with one another. There's a terrific unfolding that occurs over the course of the film's 29 minutes and you can't help but completely embrace these two.
The rest of this ensemble similarly delights, a cohesive collective of strange yet seductive souls who align so beautifully that you can't help but want to see a feature-length version of this work. I dare not single out a single soul - this ensemble works so beautifully because they work together.
Cinematography by Carlos Hernandez Lopez is sublime throughout, expertly using shadows and light and rhythm alongside wonderful original music by Juaneco Espinosa and Axel Gottschalk.
The film is expertly directed by Shawn Backstrom. Backstrom also contributes the film's extremely effective visual effects. Backstrom works alongside Raul Lara on the film's immersive, intoxicating animation. Kudos must also be given for Eugenie Perrin's costume design, and the rest of the top-notch crew.
Delirium in Restaurant ‘Romance’ is a film for the true cineaste who appreciates the more experimental side of cinema. This is a film that takes chances, stretches boundaries, demands our attention, and rewards that attention richly. Only recently completed, Delirium in Restaurant ‘Romance’ is getting started on its festival journey and should have no problem finding success on the indie and underground fest scene with its unique vision brought wondrously to life.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic