4 January 2015 | akash_sebastian
Ned Benson has woven an Intriguing Exploration of a couple after a tragedy, and it's Great for a debut feature.
The first time we see the couple (the first scene), they are so much in love. The scene is filled with fun, excitement, and such passionate love for each other; we are easily drawn into that magical moment of theirs. The next time we see these people, it's like their lives have taken a right about turn. Something terrible has occurred in their life, we don't know what exactly. The movie as well as the characters try their best to keep away from that topic (people who have read about the movie might know what has happened, I don't want to spoil it for others). Although the path has been tread before, Ned Benson has woven an intriguing exploration of a couple after a tragedy, and it's great for a debut feature.
When something terrible happens in our life, the two things we usually tend to do are: trying our best not to remember it. If we do remember, we try to find a close person around on whom we can shift all the blame and direct all our hatred. The best thing we can do is, accept the situation, and let time take over and do its trick.
The topic has been dealt with time and again, in movies as well as novels. With a little more depth, the characters might have been more intriguing. Nonetheless, I was still interested in their lives, and the beautiful one-on-one scenes in the second half were really engaging and emotional. These characters pour their hearts out, either to let it out (and lessen the burden on their mind) or to make the other person feel better. The one which really stands out is the one in which William Hurt (as Eleanor's father) shares an old traumatizing memory with her, involving her; the monologue transports us to the actual place of the event, and we can see the agony in his eyes.
The acting by the two leads, Chastain and McAvoy, is brilliant; it's the emotional backbone of the film. Their eyes have such sorrow; though we know so less about the situation, we are intrigued by what has happened. The sometimes-fun-sometimes-supportive characters played by actors like William Hurt, Isabelle Hupert (it was amazing to see this French talent as Eleanor's mother in this film), Viola Davis, Bill Hader, Jess Weixler and Ciarán Hinds are interesting; their presence makes the story more appealing. I wish the characters were developed a little more; I don't know if the Him-Her version has more depth or not, I'm yet to see it.
The ending might baffle or annoy some, but to me, it was different and delightful. It conveyed the message it intended to, and the background music by Son Lux was just perfect for it.