Monday, 8 September 2014

REVIEW - THE ONE I LOVE (CHARLIE MCDOWELL)


The new generation of American filmmakers, bereft of the opportunities that had once been foreseen for them, expressing their dislocation with reality by re-imagining it as fantasy. The One I Love makes astute use of its split personality conceit by positioning it within the construct of a relationship, examining this abstract entity of love in a fresh-feeling way by dismantling its human components and refracting their emotions through additional conduits. Charlie McDowell exposes each element of this couple's relationship, and their individual personas, and thus draws up a smart, incisive look at what drives one's actions in a relationship. This 'love' is viewed as an enormous improbability, a thrilling but elusive sweet spot that occurs only when two people reach an identical vibration between themselves. It's something that can possibly not be cultivated, yet the comfort that it provides proves addictive, and they will persevere to try to cultivate it. But, throughout, we view it from independent perspectives, observing how these separate persons feel about their relationship from an exclusive viewpoint, pursuing their own needs and wants, contrary to their intentions. Justin Lader's script eventually settles upon Mark Duplass' Ethan, specifically offering a male outlook on contemporary first-world relationship issues that's precise and pointed when at its most creative, but unfortunately narrow in its understanding of women. Elisabeth Moss has comparatively less to work with, yet hers emerges as the more engaging and intriguing role.