Short Film Review – Divertimento (2020)

Title – Divertimento (2020) 

Director – Keyvan Sheikhalishahi (Vesper

Cast – Kellan Lutz, Torrey DeVitto, Ola Rapace, Götz Otto

Plot – Jonas Olsen (Lutz) is haunted by a mysterious and tragic past but when his given the opportunity to compete in a chess battle with the ruthless Gustav (Rapace), his gifted a chance to move forward and come to terms with his relationship with the love of his life Cathy (DeVitto). 

“There was once this castle. Huge and silent”

Review by Eddie on 21/09/2022

Having previously enjoyed up coming director Keyvan Sheikhalishahi’s earlier short films Nox and Vesper it’s fantastic to see the French filmmaker continue to grow in his field with the 30 minute short feature Divertimento giving Sheikhalishahi both a bigger playground to operate in and a name brand cast that can help him bring his vision to life. 

Centred around Kellan Lutz’s chess playing Jonas Olsen, a man who has a troubled and mysterious past that has lead him to deal with the potentially nefarious Gustav (played by Ola Rapace) and also love interest Cathy (Torrey DeVitto), Divertimento is a layered and complex short film that see’s Sheikhalishahi take on quite a load for an exercise that doesn’t allow for a lot of growth or downtime but for the most part Divertimento remains an engaging and well-filmed offering that showcases the director is going to make for an exciting feature film director. 

Feeling like a mix of James Bond thrills blended in with some Christopher Nolan like mind-melting, Sheikhalishahi’s effort, that he also wrote, is a unique affair that doesn’t want you to feel either at ease or like you’ve seen this type of narrative play out before and Lutz and his partner in crime Rapace make for a likeable double act that has you guessing motivations, who may be right and who may be wrong and just what exactly is behind an abnormal chess game taking place in a eerie and long-standing mansion. 

While not everything narratively pays off and some of the films dialogue doesn’t hit the way it was intended to, the craftsmanship and delivery in so many aspects of Sheikhalishahi’s short film works too a much higher level than what is usually expected from this type of product and after a string of successful award winning appearances across festivals all over the globe, it’s likely that Divertimento is a launching pad for Sheikhalishahi to make the leap into the big leagues in the not too distant future. 

Final Say – 

A polished and unique short film from the young talent that is Keyvan Sheikhalishahi, Divertimento is an above average short film that doesn’t nail all it’s landings but remains notable in many other ways. 

3 bow ties out of 5 

 

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