One night, a father heard his son praying, "Dear God, make me a man like my father." Later that night, the father prayed, "Please, make me a man like my son envisions."
Have you ever wanted to be like your parents? Or have you sworn never to become like them? The main character Dielli aspires to become an engineer in the future like his father. He is one of the closest people in his life. Despite several tragic let-downs, he continues to admire him. Dielli regularly serves community service at the local library due to a car accident he caused. The father struggles with alcoholism. Both of them commit to change, but promises are broken. This tests not only their bond but also the ability to trust blindly again in an endless cycle of disappointments.
Kosovar director Dritero Mehmetaj primarily focuses on creating short films, often placing characters in emotionally challenging situations. An example of this is the film "Pick the Name," depicting the harsh side of immigration policy. This time, he brings a story that pushes the relationship between father and son to its most critical moments. He reflects on its fragility, tests it, and places it in various painful but also tender situations. The film significantly differs from others with a similar theme as it addresses the topic of toxic family environment with great sensitivity and humanity. The volatile and complicated relationship is more about endurance than separation. We perceive aggressive scenes with less intensity than those highlighting the persistent connection between the characters. The creators succeed in touching our emotional depths profoundly, making the characters truly fascinating and heart-wrenching individuals.
Alcoholism and its consequences serve as more of a important thematic backdrop than a central idea. "Dielli" is primarily a film about human failures and second chances. Bitterness and poignancy are anchored in a strong screenplay and creatively constructed situations. When the son gives up on constantly trying to convince his father to quit drinking, he wants to indulge in alcohol himself. The father realizes that he doesn't want his son to end up like him. Roles are reversed. For the first time, the father becomes the protector, not the son.
In extreme situations, the dynamics significantly accelerate. Conflict is the driving force. Change comes when the father and son genuinely reconnect. They sit, smoke, and talk. These scenes feel slower and undisturbed, and as viewers, we easily get carried away by them. Everything that makes life worth continuing is encapsulated in the simple phrase "catch the moment." It represents small moments that briefly pull us out of the endless cycle and give us hope that things can be better. Perhaps these are the only moments for which both of them live. The name of the main character is also a warm detail — Dielli comes from Albania and in the original means sun.
The final scenes serve as a double awakening from their mistakes. First, for the father, who realizes the consequences of his actions, and later for the son, who has disappointed himself. Both have failed, but both still remain and continue.