Wednesday, March 24, 2021

See You Then - Movie Review

The Movie: See You Then

The Director: Mari Walker

The Cast: Pooya Mohseni, Lynn Chen, Nican Robinson, Danny Jacobs

The Story: A decade after abruptly breaking up with Naomi, Kris invites her to a dinner to catch-up on their complicated lives, relationships, and Kris' transition. Over the course of their one night encounter, they engage in a series of increasingly intimate and vulnerable conversations, before a shocking secret is revealed.

The Review:
This movie is similar in its storytelling style to films like Before Midnight and Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong as it follows two characters through a series of conversations that take place over the course of a single evening. This is also a very personal story for Mari Walker who co-wrote, edited, produced, and directed this project and based it on her own life experiences as a trans gender woman. The story is an emotional and intimate deep dive into the minds of two women who, after their relationship had come to an end, have since taken very different paths in life.

I don't think this movie works as well as it does without the performances from Lynn Chen and Pooya Mohseni who is a trans woman herself. Both are fearless in their exploration of who their characters are and they add an emotional honesty that matches the material they are given to work with. It's interesting to watch the ebb and flow of their conversation as truths are revealed, secrets are uncovered, and emotions are all over the place. To be honest, I thought the moments when emotions were running high were a little overplayed and stood out a bit too much from the rest of the movie although I'm wondering if that may have been intentional for added punctuation.

What's important is the content and the context of the conversations as Walker takes her characters deep into what feels like uncharted emotional territory. By unraveling her characters lives through conversation, they each become an analogy to use for our own self reflection when it comes to how we have lived our lives and how we perceive the realities of what we have experienced in life. Walker forces the characters to look at themselves in a sometimes brutally honest manner and it all ends up being a rather cathartic experience if you are willing to make the investment.

Ultimately See You Then is a very necessary movie and it's so important to move these types of conversations forward. To be able to see a movie created by a trans woman featuring two women, one trans, in lead roles that tells such an authentic story is essential to modern American cinema.

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