As a single woman, there are times in my life when I’ve romanticised the idea of having a husband; a ride or die. Someone who can deal with stuff, drill, put together flatpack, and go on adventures with. Then you watch a documentary called Husband and realise maybe, just maybe, it’s a butler you desire instead. Ironically, I missed the in person screening because I had to sit and wait around for an engineer to fix something in my house.
Husband is an actual documentary, although it blurs the lines between documenting facts and autofiction. Nonetheless, Husband is a radical snapshot of a modern marriage. It gives new meaning to warts and all. The filmmakers put their own relationship under the lens. Devorah is a superhero as far as I can tell, whereas her husband and fellow filmmaker, Josh Appignanesi comes across as needing constant reassurance.
Husband follows Devorah, who is also an academic, travelling to New York City to promote her latest book. Her husband, Josh, was supposed to be going with her as both moral and actual support with their two small children under the age of 4. Instead, he loses his passport and thus misses out on the hell that is a transatlantic flight with kids. Then he decides to film every moment even when his wife is clearly anxious.
In the brief moments when he does offer support, the attention always manages to revert back to him. I’m always interested in seeing male fragility on screen and there was a lot on display with very little awareness. There are swathes of their time in New York City that feel quite uncomfortable to watch. Although, the genius of Husband for the viewer is deciphering what is in fact truth and what is fiction.
Husband is a good reminder that every marriage works differently and these two clearly adore each other. It’s hard to say if I enjoyed it, but I did find it thought provoking. I think this is best enjoyed in a cinema with friends where you can laugh and then discuss once the lights go up.
Husband is released in UK cinemas on Friday 3 February.
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