17 September 2015 | Rodrigo_Amaro
The simple origins of "Fatal Attraction"
It's so ingenuous and simplistic that one must wonder how come James Dearden would eventually develop from this exact same film the basis for the multi-layered massive hit "Fatal Attraction". Adrian Lyne's film from Dearden's script was an 180-degree and it's the classic we all know and love (some hate it because of the plot twist). "Diversion" feels like a preview attraction of what we're about to see in the Oscar nominated film.
He takes a happy British couple, makes the wife visit her mom during the weekend and while she's off, the hubby decides to go out with a beautiful woman who thinks she found the right guy but he's only in it for the casual sex. You've seen that before. When they reach the breaking point, Dearden even makes use of some memorable sequences - like the one with the woman kicking the guy off the bed. The difference comes in the treatment given to both stories. In "Fatal Attraction" we sense that something's gonna get really wrong and dangerous while in "Diversion" Dearden teases us and the main character about what's gonna happen, what's the next step, what's the next threat...if there'll ever be one.
The problem with the short film is that the director doesn't know how to make us feel connected with the characters or the situations, it takes too long to finally get to where we want, it's pure Chinese torture. He gets right on the target with the film's conclusion but by then, you already may have given up hope for what's about to come due to the slow pace, or the repetitive back and forth between the lovers. Not to mention that everything is all too simple, there's not much seduction, it's not sexy or intense. It lacks power.
But in a way, that's what short films are all about: to make us feel provoked, to make potential investors see the talent coming up with a great project that can be turned into a brilliant feature film, doesn't necessarily need to have a conclusion. However, I'm glad Dearden insisted with the story and the theme, made it more complex and engaging in the almost perfect 1987 film (this one with the ending saved by the screening test audiences). In any case, "Diversion" is a positively enjoyable film. 6/10