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THE COFFEE TABLE

Written By:

Joel Harley
The Coffee Table

One man’s spite purchase becomes a family’s downfall when the gaudy coffee table Jesús (David Pareja) buys to piss off his wife proves to be the ultimate pain in the neck.

Already going through a rough patch in their marriage, new parents Jesús and María (Estefanía de los Santos) find their life turned upside down after buying an allegedly ‘unbreakable’ table from a seedy furniture salesman. Such innocuous beginnings kick off this pitch-black farce from director Caye Casas and co-writer Cristina Borobia.

Not recommended for the faint of heart nor easily upset, The Coffee Table is a provocative, needling work of misery-porn – taking its instigating tragedy and steadfastly refusing to flinch from the ensuing agony. As the fallout settles and Jesús and María gather the family for lunch, Casas and Borobia dial up the discomfort in a feverish anxiety nightmare which recalls both the work of the Safdie Brothers and that episode of Peep Show where they kill and eat the dog.

But for all the deliberate, gleeful cruelty, The Coffee Table’s core strength is its empathy – pinpointing exactly where it hurts and turning the screw, unleashing fresh heartbreak with every pointed comment or now bleakly appropriate sentiment. The writing and direction are well supported by the film’s performances, which find humanity in the darkness, no matter how unpleasant things become – or how darkly ridiculous the situation.

Deeply shocking and genuinely transgressive, The Coffee Table does not make for easy or pleasant viewing – but it is an impressive work of boundary-bashing trauma-baiting from filmmakers who both delight in and profoundly understand their victims’ pain. The ultimate in feel-bad cinema!

stars

THE COFFEE TABLE is out on digital release from May 20th.

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