Relationship movies are probably my favourite kind of movies. People entangled with other people, navigating the webs of their own prejudices, insecurities, ambitions and fears? Hell, yes! Add to that scarce dialogue, overpowering acting, brilliant direction, and you have Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Revolutionary Road, or, most recently… Last Night.
It took me a while to finally watch this movie, even though I knew I wanted to see it from the minute I watched the trailer a couple of years ago. I wasn’t disappointed. You couldn’t get deeper into human relationships than you do in this movie, featuring the interplay between four people – a young married couple (Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington) and their respective love interests (Guillaume Canet and Eva Mendes). Nor could you get fewer answers as to what’s right and what’s wrong – on the contrary, the whole picture is like a series of progressive questions; provonking, testing your tolerance of how far you can take an extra-marital flirtation or how deeply you can get involved with a former love.
As opposed to other movies that I’ve seen with a similar topic (Closer comes to mind), I found this one to be painfully realistic and extraordinarily relatable. It’s not an easy movie to watch. But you can learn from it. Just as art is supposed to be a mirror of society and its values, this movie offers a window into our very own passions and weaknesses. At the end of it, you reflect on the actions of the characters as if they were your own, considering their consequences and weithing their implications.
One of the things that I think contributes to the quality of this movie is that it was directed by a woman – the Iranian Massy Tadjedin (for some reason, when an Iranian has something to do with a movie I immediately consider it to be an advantage). As always, I don’t like to generalise, but I do feel that female directors have a different aesthetic. To me, it felt refreshing and relevant to watch a movie whose interplays I could relate to so well.
If you like to explore the most vulnerable nooks of the human psyche, this movie was made for you.