Divers in the Rain -review
Directors: Olga & Priit Pärn
Eesti Joonisfilm 2010
Reviewed by Leevi Lehtinen, 2011
‘Divers in the Rain’ tells a story of an impossible love affair. Deeper down it’s also a sociological and political film that criticizes current social conditions. The storyline has several layers of confrontations, conflicts and contrasts of elements, characters and situations. That seems to be the central theme of the film: the internal and external conflicts of our lives.
The film continuously cuts between poetic daytime dream sequences of a woman who works at night and hectic work routines of a diver who is part of rescue missions/operations. They meet only during the dusk and dawn when one of them is off to work and the other to bed. Not only the relationship is dysfunctional, but there also seems to be overpowering issues both in the society where the man works, and in the woman’s dreams. In a way, there’s an odd functional element in the dysfunction, because regardless of the problems everything still works in a crippled way, and the society seem to crawl forward.
This is the third film Priit co-directed with his wife Olga, and the first one I’ve seen out of the three. In comparison of Priit Pärn’s earlier films ‘Divers in the Rain’ has more of a linear and understandable storyline. In a way the film is more audience friendly than before. The complexity and perplexity of the films were both his sins and strengths. Generally I enjoyed Priit Pärn’s older films, but sometimes I felt more confused than excited after seeing his animations like ‘Hotel E’ (1992) or ‘Time Out’ (1984). I wonder what was Olga’s role as a co-director? Maybe the clearness was partly her accomplishment? The clearness shouldn’t be confused with simplicity. ‘Divers in the Rain’ is as complex and multi-layered as any of Priit’s earlier films. It’s full of symbolism that generates several stories within the main plot.