Last Night, 2010.
Written and Directed by Massy Tadjedin.
Starring Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington, Eva Mendes, Guillaume Canet, Anson Mount and Griffin Dunne.
A married couple spend the night away from each other, the husband taking a business trip with a colleague he is attracted to, and the wife encountering a past love.
It’s obvious from the get go that the conception of the movie was female-led. Saying that, Tadjedin does make her female lead a bit of a bunny boiler to begin with, what with suspecting her husband of having an affair purely for chatting to a woman that he works with at a party. Instantly I disliked this female lead, purely for being so paranoid. But then again I also disliked the male lead, so unfortunately there was no connection to either party, which makes the next hour quite dull as the inevitable plot unravels. There is a slight attempt at giving some depth to the couple, but it’s too little to establish any connection or chemistry between them. This is two actors performing a scene, in an apartment that looks fresh out of a catalogue – it lacks any realism.
Following an argument and a vague sort-of make up, the husband, Michael, is off on a business trip with a woman that his wife, Joanna is very suspicious of with reason – he’s clearly attracted to her. So already it’s pretty obvious that something is going to happen. Oh, and when the husband leaves, a past love of the wife’s suddenly turns up. How convenient. Joanna oddly keeps photographs of this past love, and yet she has the audacity to moan at her husband for chatting to an attractive co-worker. This plot is boringly predictable, and despite the fact that Tadjedin does her best to write in some ‘twists’ and create some sense of uncertainty within the audience, it falls flat. With scenes that drag on, and inevitable outcomes, the 1 hour 28 minutes of Last Night feel considerably longer. The consistent ‘will they, won’t they’ situation gets tired early on – if the characters had been more likeable or at least relatable, then the plot may perhaps be a little more compelling.
The most confusing element of Last Night is how it switches and changes its mind about gender. Initially, the woman character is painted as someone who overreacts and is seemingly unnecessarily dramatic, then the man is seen as a pig and the woman reasonable. The supposed ‘cliff-hanger’ ending of the film is also a little contradictory.
In the film’s credit, it does have a nice subtle soundtrack which sneaks in and out of scenes with little notice. It aids the scenes that it inhabits, but doesn’t overtake them or define them. It is also interesting at which stages Michael and Joanna begin to feel tempted by their respective flames, but it’s not the least bit surprising. This film may resonate with those that are in a relationship but have feelings for another person, but it was lost on me.
Overall, watch Last Night if you fancy someone who isn’t your partner. Then tell me whether it had an impact on you, because I’d like to know whether its capable of affecting anyone.