Love is on the menu in director Shawn Backstrom and screenwriter Compañía Delirio’s short mystery, Delirium in Restaurant “Romance” (Delirio en el Restaurante “El Romance”).
For a beautiful evening of romance, lovers Marcelo and Serena find themselves in the Blue Forest at the doorstep of el Restaurante “El Romance.” Our pair is soon seated by their eccentric host, and their meal is delivered course by course, starting with wine. As the couple discusses their plans for their future together, Marcelo becomes transfixed by the image of a beautiful artist in the background. When Serena excuses herself to the restroom, Marcelo takes this opportunity to prepare his proposal. But again, he is drawn to the artist in the background. When their hands touch, the artist comes alive, and the two dance… only to be disrupted by Serena’s return.
Delirium in Restaurant “Romance” is a short film based on the play of the same name as performed and conceived by the performance troupe Compañía Delirio. At the outset, their story seems like an almost romantic version of Rocky Horror Picture Show, as the restaurant takes on a mysterious and surreal lair of love filled with an eclectic cast of characters. The troupe explores themes of self-discovery, acceptance, and the transformative power of love and romance.
“…hands touch, the artist comes alive, and the two dance… only to be disrupted by Serena’s return.”
At its core, this is a performance dance piece by Compañía Delirio. The company of performers includes Facundo Daniel Adamo, Gisela Viera, Manuela Cid, Toluz Chediex, Crisol Quirós Vasquez, Teddy Boussengui, Marta Alzate Arsuaga, Dorien Keymis, and Rocío Badoza Menduiña. Interpretive dance and movement are not necessarily for the masses, and as such, this is going to appeal to a very narrow audience. However, if you’re familiar with performance art, you will probably embrace the elements that make up this film more than viewers without that orientation.
As a film, Delirium in Restaurant “Romance” does a lot of things right though it lacks in other areas. The plot is well-defined, and the time Compañía Delirio spent performing it worldwide comes across in the short. However, I did get a sense that, at some moments, the cast may have been thrown off by the cameras as opposed to the comfortable feel one gets from performing live on stage. However, the costumes and production values are spot on and visually help bring audiences into the story.
In reading how Delirium in Restaurant “Romance” came to be easy to see what the filmmakers describe as a celebration of “the spirit of independent art and cultural exchange.” Despite some flaws, it is a beautiful and tastefully erotic exploration of romance.
For screening information, visit the Delirium in Restaurant “Romance” official website.
"…an almost romantic version of Rocky Horror Picture Show..."