Imagine being trapped indoors for a long period of time with someone you can’t stand. This film brings that horror to life for you by introducing an unidentified couple who attempt to get along during a desperate situation despite their lack of compassion for one another.
James McAvoy, who plays “He” and Sharon Horgan, who portrays “She” is a couple unable to, but desperately need to, get away from each other. Why are they in this impossible situation, you ask? They’re in lockdown due to Covid. They can agree, but then they argue. They love one another, but they make each other crazy. They know they don’t care for one another, but they really do. It’s a strange dynamic being played out, but every couple goes through bumps in the road, don’t they? Having said that, the issues going on here might not be able to be solved by simply laying down some new asphalt. These two need some help, but as I said, they’re stuck.
Time ticks by, which the filmmakers have come up with a few clever ways of showing this. One way is by informing their audience of the UK death toll and how it’s rising. It’s a sad reminder of what we’ve all been through and are still going through but watching this couple tear at one another is heartbreaking when what they should be doing is appreciating what they DO have. What they have is a who and that’s Artie, played by the young actor Samuel Logan. He’s the other reason they’re staying in this hideous, dysfunctional relationship but that’s not even working anymore.
These three actors are the only people in the film. Surprisingly, that’s quite enough for a story such as this. The reason for that is these two main actors are so talented, that what they say, you see! You see in your mind what they complain about or who cherish. You can easily picture why they should or should be together for yourself. You can also believe that they’re together.
They speak directly to the camera, so you’re with them. This being the case, you’re in their world and you’re okay with that. Though I’ll admit, you do feel a lot like a referee most of the time. Putting you through their war, they do admit that they’re not going to make it. She tells you that she was a bit thrilled when she found out that a poisonous mushroom he ate made him vomit, evacuate himself in his pants and could have killed him. After hearing she was thrilled about it and that she may or may not have given it to him on purpose, he looks pained, but not surprised. Perhaps getting all of this ugliness out is a way for them to bond? I’ll leave that up to you to decide. They go on to tell us that they’ve been having sex which is unexpected. After listening to what they say to one another, you may be more surprised than they are by this revelation.
Scenes in this film get intense and very emotional but to say much more about what they experience would make it pointless for you to discover it on your own. This will not be the last film to center the subjects around Covid-19 and what it has done to people. It won’t be the first to deal with the how and when governments finally decided to alert people to the horrors of the virus. But “Together” is a rather unique drama in that it displays the social issues we’re all facing today and amplifies some of that messaging. The script moves from a relationship that has only bickering and bitching in it, to one that finally leans toward more approachable and empathetic. Some moments get a little out of hand, they’re still necessary to hear so we all can learn. That’s about Covid and about each other.
Director: Stephen Daldry
Writer: Dennis Kelly
Starring: James McAvoy, Sharon Horgan
Rated: R (for language)
Run Time: 1h 31min
Genres: Drama, Comedy
Producers: Sonia Friedman, Guy Heeley
On Demand and Digital September 14th, 2021