Pretty Rosebud effectively explores double standards of gender roles
Family roles are evolving, but many times double standards stay the same, a topic so evidently displayed at the Canadian premiere of the feature film Pretty Rosebud during the ReelWorld Film Festival.
The modern feature film highlighting the role reversal of couples and its effects on the success of marriage had many in the audience gasping during the 82-minute feature at the actions of lead character Cissy, played by Chuti Tiu, who also wrote the screenplay for the film.
Tiu’s husband, established actor Oscar Torre made his directorial debut behind the lens with the flick proving the two to be a film power couple.
CTV anchor and reporter, Andria Case conducted the NBCUniversal sponsored ReelSpeak interview with Torre before the premiere screening of Pretty Rosebud, attempting to prepare the audience for the significance of the film.
“The story itself is a little provocative. It’s a reversal of roles. It is in many ways, the female role is the role that you will see a man in and it will be more acceptable for a man,” Torre says.
Torre also took the opportunity to take attendees on his journey through the movie industry. He describes his experience transitioning from his career as a substance abuse counsellor, to stumbling upon an acting career where he met his wife, Tiu. The two met in acting classes. Oscar eventually decided to take on the role of director for the film written by his wife.
Throughout the film, Tiu’s character is the sole provider in her family, striving for perfection to please her husband, her parents and her boss, but her unhappiness leads her down a path of unfaithfulness. She steps outside of their marriage with a number of men along the way. The actions of the female lead seemed almost taboo, but the film toiled with the acceptance of a man making the same decisions, leaving a deep afterthought.
Directing his wife during these scenes may have been difficult for Torre, but he and his Tiu displayed amicable professionalism to tell a story so relevant in a day and age of disintegrating lines between the roles of a wife and a husband.
“When you’re acting, you are very vulnerable, so all your insecurities come out and it looks different with other people. I really had no idea what it would be like working with my wife, because I had never worked with her on film,” he says.
“It worked very well. Not just because she was my wife. She was everything that you could ask for from an actor.”
The film itself, garnered a passionate reception from the ReelWorld audience, proving that although shocking, the topic needed to be tackled.
Words & Photos By. Samantha O’Connor