`Divertimento' could well have been made as a play for television instead of as a film for the cinema; therein lies the problem of acceptance in general. You go to the cinema to see a film; "divertimento" is not really a film in the ordinary sense, as it is most definitely a classical play in the theatre sense.
Once assimilated this fundamental concept, viewers well versed in dramatic characterization will soon warm to these two old gents veteran actors of the Spanish speaking world.
Paco Rabal with the Argentinian Federico Luppi turn in a wondrous piece, fascinating, at times even spellbinding, as the make-believe and the veritable become confused in a labyrinth of dialogue (again, more proper to the theatre than the cinema). Both actors have appeared in so many films over the last few years that I will not even attempt to enumerate any of them nor even mention those on which I have written reviews in IMDb. Suffice to say that in `Divertimento' both actors achieve a very satisfying result for those of us who are fond of live theatre productions.
The story is weird, to say the least, and thus does well in veering off into almost surrealist ambience, adding to the rather maccabre unfolding of events. A famous TV actor (Federico Luppi) turns up at an old theatre almost falling to pieces, so as to try to convince the playwrite into giving him the role in his new play. However, the playwrite (Paco Rabal) has some revengeful notions which he has wontonly prepared to play out on the aspirant actor who would like to show his real worth on the live stage in a theatre.
At times the directing is not too spot on, let's say, but Manuel Balboa's music adds great lustre to the lugubrious proceedings, as well as including an aria from Mozart's `Figaro'.
Filmed almost entirely inside a theatre in the city of El Ferrol, in Galicia, in the extreme north-west of Spain, quite near A Coruña. You will notice, please, that it rains quite a lot there!
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