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Goodbye, Petrushka

average rating is 4 out of 5


Jason Knight


Posted on:

Mar 3, 2024

Film Reviews
Goodbye, Petrushka
Directed by:
Nicola Rose
Written by:
Nicola Rose
Lizzie Kehoe, Thomas Vieljeux, Casey Landman, Bartek Szymanski, Cat Grey

An American student goes to Paris in order to pursue a project involving puppets and skating and ends up dealing with numerous complications.


Claire (Kehoe) is a film student in New York City and she has a passion for puppetry and is quite fond of Paris. Unfortunately, her ideas are not accepted by her tutor and fellow students and she decides that the time has finally come to go to Paris and work at the Puppetry Arts Institute of Paris. So she does just that, accompanied by Julia (Landman), her awkward best friend. In France, she gets into contact with Thibaut (Vieljeux), a former figure skating champion who she recently met by chance back in the U.S. and convinces him to work on a project she has in mind that will involve combining her puppetry skills and his skating experience and the Petrushka ballet by Russian composer Igor Stravinsky.


This comedy drama plot combines chasing dreams, self-discovery and romance. Poor Claire has to deal with quite a lot in Paris: being a foreigner, she struggles to fit in due to language barrier and she works as an au pair for a French family who does not approve of her. In addition to all this, she discovers that Thibaut (who is she quite fond of) has a partner (Grey) and he has lost his passion for skating because he believes that he is now past his prime and now works at a bank. Disappointed, Claire begins a relationship with Rafal (Szymanski), a student at the Institute, while Thibeut reconsiders his life's choices. The screenplay includes awkward moments and the well-written dialogue deserves praise. The rapport that develops between Claire and Thibaut is the main center of the narrative, exploring how these two individuals are affecting each other.


Claire is a friendly person who wants to pursue her goals and faces all sorts of problems will trying to do so. Thibaut has abandoned his passion and lives a life that he does not really want. That contradiction creates the main conflict of the story: two people come together and one wants to make their dreams a reality while the other is done with that and the viewer will most likely sympathise with the two main leads. Landman's character is quite intriguing: a childish young woman who is a germophobe, believes in other-worldly beings and is filled with mostly silly advice.


The rich soundtrack is one of the best aspects of this feature as it contains wonderful pieces by artists such as Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Frederic Chopin which fit very effectively in the film, creating pleasant experiences.


The lovely animation sequences are another big plus, which are based on Stravinsky's ballet mentioned above. Filled with beautiful colours, they take the viewer on a short but magical journey.


It is worth mentioning that as puppetry plays a significant part in this film, there are plenty of those to be seen, some of which look good, others not so good.


This is a funny and emotional story that significantly focuses on self-discovery and the pursuit of dreams. It is a heart-warming film with two likeable leads, splendid music and it touches on the joys of the worlds of puppetry and ice skating.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Indie Feature Film
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