There is somewhere, beyond this life, a place where our most burning desires are fulfilled. Portraying in bittersweet shades the condition of the individuals who feed their existence with sublime dreams that go beyond the coordinates of their own reality, ‘Wishful Thinking‘ is an interesting, emotional and tragicomic experiment about this soul journey into the imaginary world of its fanciful projections. This short film is also a heterogeneous exercise of interference between several cinematic techniques specific to complementary aesthetics that oscillate between European visual grammar and the emphatic dynamism of American films of the 1960s. Resonating at both technical and emotional levels, with the vision of director Giuseppe Tornatore in the films Malena or Cinema Paradiso, Dennis Nap’s project is a well-defined collage between two adjacent perspectives to look and think about human existence through the magic of cinema, as well as a dense and sensitive meditation about the need for illusion of the individual.
Walter is the owner of a cinema exclusively focused on classic American films. Not accidentally, the old man, who, after the death of his wife, devotes his whole life to film fictions, has a passion for the imaginary worlds populated by the great stars of the last century’s cinema, having one great desire: to kiss Marilyn Monroe. On a regular day, however, while cleaning the projection room, Walter suffers a heart attack that disconnects him from the coordinates of reality. Thus, his soul travels beyond the material world, taking shelter in a parallel universe, conceived according to the technical principles of an American film, where his great desire will be fulfilled. On this occasion, Walter will personally know Marilyn Monroe, with whom he will start designing his own film, even if at the other end of the universe, in the objective reality of humans, someone tries to resuscitate the old man by risking the perfecting of his cinematic American-like fantasy.
Placed on the boundary between reality and dream, ‘Wishful Thinking’ excels through an impeccable image and a suggestive soundtrack that, beyond the technical stake to approach in heterogeneous manner two distinct aesthetic strategies, manages to differentiate very convincingly the feelings of the protagonist. Focusing on the bond of empathy created between the spectator and Walter, the director creates an emotional story with slightly ironic inflections that, although not defining a much more complex profile of the main character, is a smart cinematic experiment not just about a visual engineering similar to a cold palimpsest. Perhaps that is precisely the great quality of Dennis Nap’s film, who, unlike most experimental short films creators, doesn’t consider that the non-conformism of the aesthetic strategy mixture can offset the emotional dimension of the storyline.