Marital Scenes From Casablanca
MARITAL SCENES FROM CASABLANCA
(Manželské scény z Casablanky)
A man in his late forties (Customer) comes for his regular therapeutic session with his psychologist (Doctor). During the session it becomes clear that the Customer has a considerable problem with the loss of motivation in his life. He feels so successful, especially in his relationship to women, that there seems to be no energy or fantasy left.
The Customer´s son – a university student (Youngster) - also has a problem with motivation. As opposed to his father, the Youngster concentrates more on the world of internet games as a means of living and entertainment. In dialogue with his girlfriend (Girl) he debates the question of where in contemporary times the playing with one´s identity ends and prostitution begins. No answers are given, it is up to each individual to define and solve this problem himself.
The topic of prostitution – this time in the form of betrayal – appears also in the next scene, when Muse (the Customer´s ex-wife and the Youngster´s mother) meets Doctor and wants to get to know her ex-husband´s life mystery and trauma. This opportunity leads her to an attempt to find out how the concept of happiness develops and changes in the perspective of time, using the example of the love triangle from the famous film Casablanca.
Not only happiness but also success and integrity of opinion undergo transformation, even in the lives of people who are used to having both of these. This is manifested in the dialogue of Customer and Youngster about the role of the media in contemporary times – Customer being one of the important Czech commentators – as well as in the debate of an older (Boris) and younger (Igor) Russian investor, who are keen on buying the newspaper for which Customer works. As it comes out, the purchase of this relatively insignificant paper equals the gaining of prestige and power for Boris. Igor, who wants to even up with Boris, has to make do with “small fry” for the time being – his weapons when dealing with the rather unfriendly environment being sex and dominance.
In the closing scene the Customer, the Muse and the Doctor meet in the Youngster´s apartment, where they find out that the Youngster - within the framework of his studies and exploration of the world of the media and the topic of manipulation - created his own interpretation of each of them. He uses the form of a theatre piece to inform his guests of his interpretation (it comes out that all previous conversations of Muse, Customer and Doctor are in fact the Youngster´s fictions). Neither one of the guests accepts Youngster´s vision of reality and the following exchange of opinions quickly transforms into a generational dispute over values.
In the epilogue Girl asks all of the spectators-fellow citizens to “like” the Youngster´s work on social networks. She claims that she and Youngster and their quasi-reality hold the mirror up to all of us, whether we like it or not.