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It is the 1970s and a group of very different individuals live together as a community. One of the members' sister, Elisabeth, needs a new place to stay with her children after having had enough of her alcoholic and abusive husband. Elisabeth is neither a socialist nor a feminist nor into the green movement but ends up loving living in the community where they all learn from each other. The film makes a little fun of people with strong ideals and "square" minds whether they be vegans, communists or people who absolutely disgust vegans or socialists. In the end, the message of the film is that people can grow and gain from bonding with each other. It also shows how we need to shape up a little for this to work, either through working on our behaviour that affects other people badly (like alcoholism or abuse) or the need to set boundaries and not let other people walk all over oneself.Written by
one house; one revolutionary; two open straight marriages; three gay people (maybe four); three children; two carnivores and eight vegetarians; there's only one way they're going to make it... together
Together is a story of human relationship. As one character says at one point in the film, "I'd rather eat porridge together than pork chops alone", and that is the recurring message throughout the film. Our story takes place in a commune in 1975, which is called, you guessed it, 'Together'. The commune serves as the crux of the movie; it's the centre of the film, and the people that inhabit it are what surrounds the central habitat. The film really starts when Elisabeth has a fight with her husband and leaves him, with the kids to live at the commune, which is owned by her brother; the far too kind, Goran. From there, the film just takes off; the multiple personalities that inhabit the commune are each allowed to grow and be nurtured by the audience, no one character is similar to another and they all have their own strengths and weaknesses. Just like he did in his masterpiece; Show Me Love, Lukas Moodysson creates characters here that are real and that we therefore are able to feel for and like for being people, as opposed to just because they're the central characters. It's this realism that gives Together its edge over most other human dramas, such as In America or Whale Rider.
Lukas Moodysson delivers a film here that works on a multitude of levels. The moments of drama are spot on, and because each of the characters gets to develop and we get to know them, it makes the drama more powerful than it would have been if this were not true. It's amazing, actually, just how many characters Moodysson is able to juggle in this film. In many films with a lot of characters, some end up being left by the wayside and not having a chance to shine but all the ones here do, and that is a testament to Moodysson's writing abilities. The acting on display here is an exhibition in excellence, and nothing that the actors do in the film feels odd or out of place. It's almost like watching a real commune. Just like he did with Show Me Love, Moodysson has opted for a gritty style to his film, which doesn't make the film look nice, but it does give it a very rough edge, which is what the film needs; it wouldn't have been the same with an aesthetically pleasing feel. Moodysson's direction in the film is very detached and it almost feels like a documentary. This is a good thing, as with this Moodysson allows the audience to make their own mind up about what is happening on the screen. He never piles on the sentiment, or condones or discourages any of the acts in the film; they're just they're, and you can choose whether they are moral or amoral; which is exactly how a drama of this ilk should be.
Overall, Together is an excellent piece of film. The character development and the way that the characters are handled alone makes it a must see, but the excellence doesn't end there. Moodysson has created a film here that is as entertaining as anything you're likely to see and with a definite message. Moodysson can make rubbish for the rest of his life and still be warmly remembered for this and Show Me Love.
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