I guess I don’t know what to expect from a Costa Rican film, and I’m still not really sure, because this second feature from Paz Fábrega comes on initially like a quirky New York indie romance (albeit one of a higher calibre), opening at a house party with a bunch of 20-somethings in fancy dress. The film is shot in luminous black-and-white and has a really relaxed way about it (though not slapdash, by any means, as there’s quite a bit of care taken in the framing, most notably a striking upstairs/downstairs camera set-up in a stairwell), with the two lead actors easing into their roles as a romantic pairing. However, after the initial meet-cute, Pedro (Fernando Bolaños) has to head off into the bush for his research work and Luciana (Kattia González) decides on a whim to follow him and camp out for a day. It’s a slender set-up allowing the film to focus in on the interactions between these two, though the story is really Luciana’s, who with her easy manner and impetuous responses is putting off making an important life decision. The film thankfully shies away from either the tragic or melodramatic registers, and remains throughout an easygoing film about love and relationships with a genuinely carefree spirit and plenty of unforced humour. It’s a real delight to watch.
Director/Writer Paz Fábrega; Cinematographers Fábrega and Esteban Chinchilla; Starring Kattia González, Fernando Bolaños; Length 71 minutes.
Seen at Ritzy, London, Thursday 15 October 2015.