The surreal film structure of Luis Bunuel's comedic masterpiece The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is thematically linked with dream sequences of several different characters, flashbacks, or a dream within a dream. Its unusual plot consists on five bourgeois friends who go to a couples house to have dinner; and every time they arrive to eat there seems to be an interruption of some sort that stops them from having their meal. Luis Bunuel was known to have life long fetishes and one of them for some reason was the act and tradition of sitting down for dinner. The reoccurring joke in The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie are the creative interruptions between each meal, which under the surface are the themes of the decaying European aristocracy like infidelity, drug dealing, military coups, religion, perversion, war, denial, murder, politics, boredom, revenge and sex; along with the arrival of a church Bishop, whose life-long fetish was to dress up as a gardener and work as a servant for the wealthy.
All characters that are in a Luis Bunuel film are psychologically trapped. They are trapped in his universe of utter hell, and for are entertainment we watch as they desperately try to break free, with us knowing they cannot. Luis Bunuel has been one of the most cynical directors ever since he created his radical surreal masterpiece Un Chien Andalou along with Salvaldor Dali in 1929, which is iconic for showing an woman's eye-ball getting sliced from a razor. Bunuel believed most people were hypocrites, especially the wealthy and comfortable, which is primarily who he enjoyed focusing on tormenting throughout his films, presenting the cruel, bleak and destructive views of human existence. When directing The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie the legendary director was 72 years old and I believe this film is less cruel than his earlier work and seems more fun and comical. Maybe Bunuel is mellowing out a little bit and not looking at the universe so harshly as he had in the past, but still enjoys having his characters suffer and get humiliated in ways that we as an audience guiltily enjoy seeing.