Love’s complicated no matter what stage of life you’re in. Hidden love is usually reserved for the likes of the two feuding families, or the teen struggling to tell their parents. But Fillippo Meneghetti’s Two Of Us (Deux) shows that even the grown ups can have stressors to deal with. Not only that, but growing old is not just for taking stock and slowing down, it’s for planning new adventures and being who you want to be.
This love story centres on two middle aged women, Nina and Madeline who, after having a secret love affair for decades, are deciding to take it to the next level now Madeline is widowed and retired. They want to live together, instead of as neighbours and travel to Rome, but Madeline needs to pluck up the courage to sell her apartment and reveal her secret to her grown-up children. Unfortunately, an unexpected event leaves their plan in tatters.
The two leads Barbara Sukowa and Martine Chevallier create seamless, natural chemistry on screen, helped by a realistic and down to earth script. There are a few unexplained events in the film and dream sequences which don’t seem to fit, but luckily these don’t hinder the beautiful love story following throughout. The soundtrack at times also felt a bit jarring, as it created a thriller-esque mood rather than a traditional drama tone.
Although the main theme is love, Manghetti folds in complicated issues of family, acceptance, frailty and social pressure. This makes The Two Of Us a love story that is relatable and refreshing, as there is something from the plot that anyone can take away.
Menghetti’s debut is a festival favourite and will probably be a name highly sought after in European cinema for years to come.
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