In a world of remakes and reboots that you didn’t ask for and want even less, it’s easy to feel like the days of quality cinema are over. But then a film comes along that is so unique it reignites the passion you thought had burned out. Case in point: the BBC Film project, “Together.”
The last 18 months have been hard on everyone, between the COVID-19 outbreak and the harsh lockdowns that have accompanied them. Even now, there are numerous film productions that are being marred by the added stress of attempting to safely film new content under government regulations. BBC Film found a creative way around this dilemma in “Together” — a movie about living in COVID lockdown from a single location in the span of 10 days.
A feature-length film that took only 10 days to shoot? With a small crew and two high-quality actors to pull the load, “Together” — written by Dennis Kelly and co-directed by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin — pulls off an audacious feat.
“Together” is a comedy-drama that showcases the struggle of the human condition. The film turns audiences into the unofficial third character in the movie, as the couple breaks through the so-called “fourth wall” to address the audience directly. The film gives the viewer a window into the highs and lows of a rocky relationship without the tropes of casting judgments.
There are no camera tricks, no special effects or scenic destinations. “Together” is a masterclass of storytelling and character development. We get to know the characters from their upbringing to their current living situation. The emotional connection works because the characters mirror the experience of their audience members during the different stages of the lockdown.
The uncertainty of the future, the realization that things will never be normal, the grief of loss and the attempt to put the pieces back together— the film is a roller-coaster ride through the five stages of grief and leaves the audience wanting just a bit more.
The acting from Horgan and McAvoy is brilliant. Both play a vital role in being the lifeline of the film. The characters begin the movie hating each other, quipping back and forth about their living arrangement. As the film progresses, the quipping dies down and you get imitate stories about family and love, which show that despite how much they claim to despise each other, they both play a vital role in the emotional stability of their lives.
McAvoy and Horgan represent the average couple dealing with the struggle of living in lockdown, but their amazing performances pull you into a fictional world that recalls real life as it has been for the last 18 months.