Thursday Till Sunday (12a)
Director: Dominga Sotomayor Castillo
Starring: Santi Ahumada, Emiliano Freifeld, Paola Giannini
Runtime: 96 min
Two children travel with their parents from Santiago Chile to the north of Chile for a family holiday. The landscape’s loneliness and the car’s confinement help bring out the couple’s troubles and the children learn that this might turn out to be their father’s farewell and their last family vacation.
Papa (Francisco Pérez-Bannen) and Lucia (Santi Ahumada), take their young children Ana (Paola Giannini) and Manuel (Emiliano Freifeld) on gruelling road trip through the Chilean countryside in search of promotion of sorts for Papa. Along the way, they meet up with some kindred spirited travellers, a young French boy and his father, all the while the children are slowly understanding that their parents may not be as happy as they appear.
Thursday Till Sunday is a subtitled Chilean movie, for which the script is both sparse and insightful. The plot in itself is very simple: a road trip in which the family is showing signs of falling apart.
The viewer is taken on a gruelling road trip with the family and shares in their games, their closeness and their love for each other. The downside of this “intrusion” is that the viewer also shares in the endless mile after mile of barren countryside, with few cars, fraying tempers and, especially from the children’s point of view, boredom!
Though the running time is quite short, it does at times feel like your soul is being drained from you, much as the characters in the film. This should be a clever plot ploy for Director and Writer Dominga Sotomayor Castillo, but ultimately it’s one that could be described as both requiring empathy from the audience, or sheer numbness through boredom
The main cast, via sparse dialogue and at times sparser emotion, merely amble along. There are no real standout performances as there are no witty or engaging stretches of dialogue.
The additional cast are typically those that the audience can relate to: a young group of folk singing campers, a father and his young son on a trip, or, and perhaps more chillingly, a lonely truck driver pulled up beside an empty car
Whilst Thursday Till Sunday has garnered a number of awards and praise for its ingenuity, the viewer may feel inclined to think this a road movie that simply takes too long to get there without really answering any of the questions it poses.
There is one additional character to this film, and that is the family’s car. Whilst not an instantly recognisable make or model, the car does what it is supposed to, and that is to show the confined and claustrophobic atmosphere of a trip from the occupants point of view. Indeed, though the vehicle is no Herbie, it too feels the strain of this journey
In short, Thursday Till Sunday may be a thought-provoking insight into a family on the fringe of disintegration courtesy of road trip, but the viewer may feel that the journey is too long and yearn for a door handle well before the running time is up.
2 out 5