Hi, today I’m reviewing a short film called Divertimento. It was written and directed by, I believe. Yes. Directed and written by, I’m going to try this name, Keyvan Sheikhalishahi, I hope. Anyway, I’m sorry if I mispronounced that, but Divertimento is a very interesting little film. In a very compact 30 minutes, essentially, it tells you all about this weird game a guy’s playing, The game seems to have a game within it, this chess game, and he keeps referring back to it, throughout. But the opening just has this kind of creepy sensation to it, like it reminded me in a sense of Twin Peaks, something about the floor and the way the camera comes up. I don’t know what it was, but there is a definitely creepy vibe to this place. And it’s in the music, and it’s in the cinematography, and it’s well done.

Image via Movie Riffing.

And there are all these people there and they’re playing chess or they’re watching people playing chess. And this guy comes and this, the man who comes into the picture a few minutes in actually is the protagonist. And he almost, well, he almost runs over a woman, or actually his driver does. He’s in the backseat as far as I know. In any case, the guy in the backseat notices the woman in the road. I think. I have to go back and look. Now, my memory is playing tricks on me. Hmm. Now, that’s the funny thing about this movie.

I think this movie is totally about memories and guilt, and I really don’t want to say much more than that because it’s just really interesting to watch this thing unfold. You’re watching a game being played within another game, and I won’t tell you the ending except to say that it has a definite noirish feel, I suppose? And it makes you wonder “What just happened? Really?”

Click here to see more images from the film.

Okay? I liked this movie a lot and I watched it twice, and I noticed things the second time that I didn’t notice the first. So that’s what’s really interesting about this thing. It’s just like, okay, how did I not notice that the first time? I asked myself. And it’s just a real interesting half-hour movie and well done to the director and the writer. I mean, seriously. Nicely done. Nicely wrapped up, and it just plays with your mind. It plays with time, it plays with memories, it plays with word games. “I have the queen.” What does that mean? Who is the queen? Is the queen literally the chess piece? Or is it somebody who is watching? Things like that occur to me. Anyway, I enjoyed it and thumbs up, both thumbs up. I think that I can get my thumb up. There you go, and thank you for listening. Talk to you later.

PS: Whoa! This starts off like a murder mystery, but there’s more going on than meets the eye! :)

Directed by Keyvan Sheikhalishahi
Screenplay by Keyvan Sheikhalishahi
Produced by Keyvan Sheikhalishahi and Nahid Sheikhalishahi (associate producer)

PPS: Wanna see a really BORING chess scene? Check out The Thomas Crown Affair. The original, no less.

This just goes on for freaking ever!



Debbi Mack
Movie Lover’s Club

New York Times bestselling author of eight novels, including the Sam McRae Mystery series. Screenwriter, podcaster, and blogger. My website: www.debbimack.com.