Dir.: Emrhys Cooper; Cast: Fiona Dourif, Donal Brophy, Emrhys Cooper; USA 2021, 95 min.
This first feature film by British director/co-writer Emrhys Cooper is an unstructured, freewheeling comedy bent on creating dramatic confrontations – seemingly just for the sake of it.
NYC based Journalist Parker Schafer (F. Dourif) is at a crossroads – emotionally and career wise – having just lost her lover and a job at “Rogue” Magazine after a shambolic TV award appearance. In desperation she turns to Guru Shuroo (Brophy), also known as Declan, hoping that a weekend at his summer retreat in the Catskill mountains will turn things around. Ironically, this turns out to be the case, but not the way the guru had in mind. There are some embarrassingly clumsy “solutions” for all concerned: a gay coming-out and childhood sex abuse among them, Schafer admitting to guilt surrounding her brother’s death after introducing him to cocaine. The guru adopts a ‘one size fits all’ approach to healing his patients, and clearly the cast enjoyed themselves judging by those attending the press screening. Cooper and his co-writer Donal Brophy go all out for laughs in a film that has nothing really to say, leaving the audience scratching their heads in amazement. AS
THE SHUROO RETREAT out on demand from 25 July 2022