by Sherif Awad
This long narrative is the directorial debut by Russian-born Alisa Khazanova, a former Bolshoi ballerina who also wrote and produced. Khazanova, as an actress, co-starred in 18 other TV and film production including THE WOMAN IN BLACK (2012).
Khazanova plays the main character, a submissive woman subjugated by her arrogant husband (Chris Beetem). At first, we see the couple in the desolate restaurant of a bizarre hotel where are staying at a hotel. The husband has these routine business meetings to strategize how to get Chinese funders for a profitable deal.
One night, the husband leaves his wife alone at the table to meet his business accomplice Marcus (Daniel Raymont) outside. A stranger (Noah Huntley) then approaches the woman only to talk to her as if they knew each other for quite a while and might also had an affair. The woman leaves quickly, a bit uncomfortable and certainly not trusting him.
Another night, we see the same couple at the same restaurant, yet a bit more different this time. The glass of wine is broken and there’s a waiter who brings them a bottle of wine to compensate them. The husband is slightly more pleasant now, but he leaves the table anyway. The wife refuses to go with him only to have yet another conversation with the stranger about illogical memories. The first memory that pops into her head has to do with her sister – dubiously identified with a couple of obscured and wide angled dreamlike passages that focus on a young girl named Olga.
Apparently, another night, the husband unexpectedly turns into a considerate guy, but his bored wife seems to enjoy more the company of the stranger who talks about supernatural premonition. Is these encounter her suppressed fantasies or some parallel reality existing altogether with few distortions?
For Alisa Khazanova, the film is an ambitious piece of art given her tasks being in front of the camera and behind it as co-writer and director. It plays around themes of déjà-vu and circle repetitions of our daily life. The viewer of this film will start to question his personal space at a certain period of his life and age and his tormented memories of childhood, places, parents, spouse… The music score by composer Igor Vdovin deserves special mention, operating as parallel dialogue when the director decides to express her happiness with her part-time lover. The film could be a perfect candidature for film festivals specially with a female focus…