On July 21st 1792, Mary and Emma settled their differences the only way they knew how: a duel to the death!

Deloping takes viewers on a hilarious journey to the British countryside in 1792, where two women, Mary and Emma, prepare for a pistol duel. As they exchange witty banter, it becomes clear that Emma is not skilled in counting and shooting. This leads to several hilarious moments of confusion and miscommunication.

As the tension builds towards the impending duel, the music adds to the suspense. However, when Emma fires her gun in the air, intentionally missing Mary, things take a comedic turn. Mary and Emma continue to bicker, with Mary’s exasperation at her friend’s ineptitude adding to the humour. They debate why Mary brought more than one bullet. “It’s what the men do,” Mary says.

The witty and playful dialogue between Mary and Emma makes for an enjoyable comedy. Emma’s lack of experience and Mary’s exasperation provide ample opportunity for humour. Will the two women ever successfully complete their duel?

Deloping is a clever and entertaining comedy celebrating the absurdity of a pistol duel. The film leaves audiences guessing until the very end, with a shocking conclusion. With its charming characters and witty writing, Deloping will leave viewers laughing and entertained.

Director’s Vision for ‘Deloping’

I’ve been fascinated by flintlock pistols for quite some time. These pistols have gained notoriety for their reputation of being virtually impossible to aim and their penchant for misfiring. To me, the concept of duelling is an inherently absurd and bizarre act. It’s intriguing that duelling was often perceived as a highly religious endeavour, where getting hit, against all odds, was seen as a divine judgment, suggesting that God had deemed you to be in the wrong.

One evening during the COVID pandemic, after watching “Hamilton,” I texted Tom Mair with the idea for a story. In this initial concept, two characters would meet at dawn to duel. At that point, the story began with one character bluntly asking, “Why the fuck are you taking your clothes off?”

The concept immediately intrigued Tom, and he swiftly crafted an exceptional first draft centred around the theme of “from foes to friends.” The story explored two individuals engaged in a duel but continually missed each other, forcing them to talk it out instead.

Our initial inspiration drew from a curious folklore dating back to 1892. According to this tale, Princess Metternich and Countess Kilmannsegg duelled topless with swords over flower arrangements for the Viennese International Exhibition of Music and Theater. The reason behind duelling topless was their fear of infections if they sustained wounds. Tom coined the term “cloth death” as a clever reference to this unusual choice. Unlike our characters, Mary and Emma, the princess and countess duelled until drawing first blood.

Historically, duelling is often portrayed as a phenomenon where men duel over matters like women or money, reminiscent of Chekhov’s ‘The Duel.’ However, we were interested in the idea of women duelling, with such portrayals still being scarce in film, Yorgos Lanthimos’s “The Favourite” coming closest to exploring this. All of these elements fueled our inspiration for the film.