One of the most anticipated films of the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival, 2010, was Bedrooms. A unique film in that it tells four separate stories, directed by three different men. The first and second, “Anna, Sal and Harry” and “Marnie, Walter and Roger” (Youssef Delara); the third, “Janet, Max and Daisy” (Michael D. Olmos); and the fourth, “Beth and Julian” (Victor Teran). Each story is presented on its own without any form of interconnection between them, besides the primary location – a bedroom, and the presentation of relationships that are being challenged. Nor is any one of them told in their entirety at once, they are constantly edited between and in some cases the linear progression manipulated.
With each vignette we are given a small glimpse into the lives of the characters. There is the adulterous couple finding the end to their love affair, the young married couple dealing with infidelity and boredom in their relationship, the mother of two who not only must deal with the loss of her husband but her children as well must adapt to their changing world, and lastly, a wife coming to terms with her husband’s infidelity while trying to find herself amongst the lies and betrayal. Each story has glimmers of truth, emotional depth, and uncomfortable resonance to a viewer. As each vignette has a very different tone they all succeed in drawing a reaction; to the point at times even of evaluating one’s own life, history, or romantic entanglements. But much of Bedrooms feels more suited for the stage than the screen. The confined spaces of the narratives are not the problem, it is the quite often excessive dramatic approach the actors’ display. They are projecting far beyond the necessary area in order to reach out to the viewer and grab their attention. The downside then results in overtly heavy melodrama that does not bode all that well in a movie theater.
Even with its tendency towards the melodramatic, Bedrooms does portray important human struggles that are relatable. The disillusionment of life, the secrets people keep, and the possibilities of reconciliation with truth, are wonderfully presented. Bedrooms is a raw portrait of human relationships in its writing and presentation; but looking past the rough edges you can see the impressive depth of each story.