One wakes up one morning and realises their sentimental life has been caught in a vortex of mixed feelings, of confusion and unspoken words. Of all times this present one suddenly feels like it’s the best to get it off their chest. Another can never be prepared enough for one’s unexpected moment of sincerity and the firm decision to come clean about their repressed feelings and ‘tensions’ that they both might have been refusing to accept and aknowledge.
David decides he wants to break up with Ava after several years of relationship. His reason is uncertain. The sudden news produces a row of recollections making old issues and hidden feelings emerge.
Alan Mehanna’s characters are simple instruments for love to play on. Love prepares its game and triggers it and the two end up struggling to decipher the ‘solution’. His film ‘Bedsheets & Cigaretes’ shows the torture love often puts its subjects through. Director Alan Mehanna guides his characters through a tormenting session of separation. When the moment comes everybody wants to know ‘why?’. David’s character is one of contradictions. He is the proof of those heart’s arguments that cannot be fought against. Ava is dedicated to her lover. She is deeply in love but very dignified and whatever mistakes she had committed in her past, or whatever wrong she did to David she is compensating with her determined loyalty. What happens between Ava and David is not a matter of being in love or not, but a matter of chemistry. It’s each of their own individual nature that eventually breaks them apart: inner convictions, doubts and yearnings. David hates himself for not having had the courage to be honest first of all to himself. This would have lead him to be honest with everyone else around him including Ava. What is truly haunting him might not be the ‘other idyll’ he lost while being with Ava but the feeling that he has cheated them both. He maybe feels he is not himself, or the man he thought (or wanted) to be. He needs a ‘reset’ and he is decided to put things straight. It is not an easy decision and not easy to apply and he ends up feeling he had done more wrong than good.
Beyond its love theme, ‘Bedsheets & Cigaretes’ has a powerful psychological core driving the story. And especially that the entire film is shot on a square format (1:1) making its characters look entrapped in a temporal and spacial bubble hard to escape, a microcosmos almost impossible to evade, makes Alan Mehanna’s film look very distinct among its kindreds.
A concise love story that stirs one on the inside!