Goodbye, Petrushka: Review

Claire (Lizzie Kehoe) dreams of working in the performing arts. She studies in New York and has a fascination for puppets, but after her tutor suggests that it may not be for her, she decides to do something drastic.

The French tale of Petrushka has always fascinated her, so after a quick consultation with her best friend, Julia (Casey Landman), she decides to move to Paris to become an au pair. However, once she gets there, she starts to realise that her dream has quickly become a living nightmare.

Goodbye, Petrushka is a romantic comedy written and directed by Nicola Rose. Something which would fit into a more mainstream cinema under any other circumstances.

The trouble is that there are a lot of things to get past for the audience to truly enjoy the movie. Firstly, there’s Claire and her best friend Julia, a couple of young women with their own desires of a perfect life. However, the former’s behaviour ends up falling into the stalker territory when she meets Thibaut (Thomas Vieljeux) and the latter is supposed to be comic relief, but she’s written as possibly the most annoying character in the movie.

Whereas the point of the movie may be that the characters mostly correct their behaviour by the end, this doesn’t make them endearing to watch. This is evident as Claire’s behaviour becomes problematic right from the start and she’s blissfully unaware. The same could be said for Thibaut as well as his own toxic relationship may make audiences scream for him to do the right thing.

Then we get around to the love triangle with her co-worker, Rafal (Bartek Szymanski) and he comes across as so creepy that the audience will immediately know that there’s something wrong. The kind of movie which may have good intentions at heart, but the execution feels all wrong.

The message at the end is a good one and something that romantic comedies may not often cover. The trouble is that in order to get there, the audience has to endure many cringeworthy moments which may leave them not caring so much about what happens.

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