April 22, 2024

ALL OF US STRANGERS (2023) – Much more that just a gay love story!


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

This is yet another spill over movie from late last year which has gotten a lot of attention and rave reviews. Naturally this has raised my expectations for the movie and fortunately it did not disappoint. It is basically a 4 persons act that has love story between two gay men, Adam and Harry, as the center plot, and a sub plot related to the main character, Adam’s attempts to reconcile his differences with his parents who had died in a car crash some 30 years ago. He does this through a series of admittedly bizarre situations where he visits and carry out conversations with his dead parents in their old countryside home, as his attempt to reconnect to his past and still trying what he had missed from his parents because of their early deaths.

The premise and plot may seem contrived and manipulative but what makes All Of Us Strangers stand out is the way the movie succeeds in making the viewer feel the strong emotional attachments that the characters have. Along the way, the perfect acting and dialouge provided a showcase of multiple themes ranging from grief and loss, loneliness, nostalgia, parental relationships, coming to terms with the past, and even spirituality. This film may not be for everyone as those who are homophobic will naturally reject the film without even watching it. That’s a pity because this film is much more than just another gay love story.

It is hard for me to describe what makes this movie so special and different without revealing the film’s twists and how it so artistically tells the story. Director Andrew Haigh manages to make the mundane and ordinary look interesting. For example, the use of mirrors and reflections is applied a lot. He also cleverly infused songs from the 80’s into the story. Often these songs’ lyrics complement the story perfectly as with the case of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s “The Power of Love”, and the Pet Shop Boy’s “Always on My Mind’. These songs take on a whole new meaning within the film’s context. The film’s final image was so tragic and beautiful at the same time. It left a lasting impression on me and another example of how director Haigh effectively interweave sound, music and images together so well.

The overall performances were great. Andrew Scott who plays the older Adam carried much of the movie as his character had the most screentime. He is one actor who can act very well with or without dialouge as his facial expressions and body language is enough to make the performance stand. Paul Mescal was quietly powerful as Harry and he has his best scenes towards the end. Claire Foy and Jamie Bell had their moments playing Adam’s parents at the age when they died, making them look younger than Adam in their scenes together!

Finally, I should warn you that the film’s ending is deliberately ambiguous and open to interpretation. It will come across differently for different people and at the end of the day, there is not real right or wrong interpretation. It becomes you own unique take on what you have seen, and what values or lessons you may take from it.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments