Taking a well known metaphor and making it a literal tale of caution isn’t anything new, but this is a very interesting take on the perils of giving one’s heart away, or in this case, the key to one’s heart.
Opening with a couple exchanging a familiar, if awkward, post-breakup chat, the pair exchange words and blame before the swaggering guy hands over a key to the girls broken heart. In this sci-fi familiar world, the girl’s heart has suffered and the damage will cost her a lifetime of caution thanks to one bad relationship.
At this point I began to wonder if there might ever be a film that could see this story of woe from both sides of the proverbial coin, it always seems to be the women being told they’re too frivolous with their love, giving it to any Tom, Dick or Harry. As she stands in the Key Maker’s workshop, desperately seeking a solution that will mend her mechanical heart I began more and more disheartened. She seemed pathetic and trampled on, the post-breakup quivering lip that we all know and hate. Even in an alternative universe women are still the losers.
But then, just as I began to lose faith, this Romanian film made an unexpected turn. In walks the swaggering Ex, asking the Key Maker for more keys to fob off to the girls. I thought this merely a ploy to make us hate him more, but lo, a final line delivers some explanation for his philandering ways, making sense of his mechanical heart.
Director Geo Doba could have made a witty poke at the dating game, a twisted but stereotypical tale of caution for the broken hearted but instead chooses to say something more poignant with his final scene. Well timed and precisely executed, this is a very interesting and sad tale of love.
Watch all of the AltCineAction Festival shorts online here.