"As the saying goes, the opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference"

As the saying goes, the opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference. Thursday Till Sunday, the debut feature from Chilean director Dominga Sotomayor Castillo, is a modern day road movie, following a couple and their children on a camping trip that is doomed from the very start.

The film is essentially about the banality of the breakdown of a marriage. There’s very little in the way of scandal and drama, because neither party seems to care anymore, and there is an obvious and very refreshing acceptance of the situation from both parties. The couple’s two children appear very unmoved by the petty bickering and the childish behaviour of both adults, and the film avoids preaching about the couple’s relationship with their children, who appear to be the sole purpose for the trip in the first place.

The film is exquisitely shot, and as is the current trend with a lot of South and Central American cinema at the moment, it truly takes advantage of the beauty of the natural landscape, with the vast, barren dirt and dust serving as a painful reminder of the emptiness of the couple’s deteriorating relationship.

The slow pace of the film is an issue however. It’s only short at 95 minutes but feels far longer. There are attempts to rupture the gentle tone of the piece with tense scenes that keep you gripped periodically, only for the viewer to discover that they’ve been somewhat lead up the garden path. The real problem is that whilst the film is interesting as an observation piece because it doesn’t sensationalise the couple’s obvious issues, it struggles to maintain it’s momentum. There’s a real change in pace when they meet with old friends en route, but their clear excitement and relief at being able to interact with other people only serves to cement what we already know; the couple don’t want to be together any more.

However the film is not to be dismissed. As well as the beautiful cinematography, the performances are stellar, especially from the young cast, whose beautiful innocence and seemingly genuine enjoyment of each other’s company is a real highlight. The soundtrack consists mainly of the sounds of the nature around them, but it’s soothing and adds to the beauty of the film. It’s certainly refreshing in its approach to the breakdown of a marriage, and avoids tear-jerking tactics and ferocious rows, yet the viewer is still left wanting a bigger payoff after enduring the slow pace.

It’s certainly not a film that is going to raise questions or leaving you hot with anger or passion, but it’s a sweet, gentle and ever so slightly tragic insight to what actually happens when two people stop trying.