Updated: Oct 14, 2018
★★★★★ Directed by: Nikita Trocki Written by: Nikita Trocki Starring: Alexandre Trocki, Mara Taquin, Thomas Beelen Little Wing Film Festival Review by: Chris Olson
Offbeat French comedy Dispersion is a wonderful combination of the road trip movie (think a downsized Captain Fantastic) with the poignant drama of a family in the process of grieving the loss of their mother. The result is a wickedly funny short that resonates long after it finishes.
Written and directed by Nikita Trocki, Dispersion stars Alexandre Trocki as a father planning to embark on a journey with his kids in their little yellow family car. Also strapped in is the mother, whose ashes reside in an urn. Oh and there's a giant sausage strapped to the roof. Sounding barmy? We are just getting started. What ensues is a zany variety of haphazard encounters, misunderstandings, and physical comedy that is ultimately hugely affecting.
Comedy writing is often quoted as being the most difficult, and whilst the validity of that statement is certainly up for debate, it cannot be doubted that Trocki's screenplay is masterfully crafted. Combining excellent dialogue, characterisation, and plot points, Dispersion rolls out sublimely for audience who get just enough of the multiple genres to immerse them into the narrative without becoming overwhelmed by the chaos or having them miss out on the poignancy of the storyline. A delicate balance that the filmmakers maintain spectacularly.
Alexandre Trocki is fierce in the leading role, coping brilliantly with the physical demands of the character as well as the emotional heft. Mara Taquin, who plays the daughter is also excellent, riffing on the troubled teenage girl trope with a refreshing approach. Thomas Beelen as the younger son is also great, in particular a thread involving a blindfold that is one of the best moments of dry humour I have seen this year.
Shout out to the editing in the film too, a demanding task given the film's tone and atmosphere. The speedy execution of the sequences was perfectly aligned with the nature of the storyline and complemented the characters well.
Fans of quirky comedies that also have a strong grounding and message will be in their element with Dispersion, a film that captures an innate sense of human reaction to tragedy and takes it for a spin in a yellow bug.