review: and while we were here (2012)

Starting off with sequences of a woman (Kate Bosworth) and a man (Iddo Goldberg) travelling in a train, and later a car, overlaid with a sepia tint and a traditional-sounding italian musical score – this film set my expectations high, right off the bat. It definitely didn’t disappoint, but that being said, it also wasn’t especially outstanding.

Caleb (Blackley) and Jane (Bosworth).

Caleb (Blackley) and Jane (Bosworth).

This film follows Jane (Bosworth), as she travels with her husband, Leonard (Goldberg) to Italy for work. She undergoes a self-realizing journey as she works on a book concerning the thoughts of her late grandmother, and meets a younger man whom she finds an instant connection with.

I loved the feel of this movie. With the sepia colouring and use of handheld cameras, it knew the way to my heart. The plot could have been terrible and I still probably would have liked it. The pace was also great – every scene contributed to the story and had a function. While not feeling totally rushed, the plot continuously moved forward at a steady pace, maintaining the capture of my short-attention span well.

Jane (Bosworth) and Caleb (Blackley) and their short romance.

Jane (Bosworth) and Caleb (Blackley) and their short romance.

There was also a constant theme of miscommunication in this film as well. I actually very recently just wrote a paper on Lost in Translation, and how these notions of miscommunication and lack of social interaction occur in the film, and I saw some very similar symbols here. Firstly, the language barrier between the English speaking protagonists and Italian speaking citizens of the setting clearly indicate this concept. Secondly the lack of communication within the couple shows this theme. Thirdly, more in the beginning of the film, Jane is constantly shown wandering around and exploring the streets of beautiful Ischia, only to be blocked from the full experience by her insistence to keep her headphones in to work on her writing project, signifying her emotional distance from her surroundings. As the film progresses however, she tends to have her earphones plugged in only in her room, while letting go to more freely explore the outside world. Moreover, this transformation of her attitude is further enhanced by the literal letting-down of her hair – although I must say, I like her with her hair tied back better.

Jane (Bosworth) wandering around Ischia with her earphones in.

Jane (Bosworth) wandering around Ischia with her earphones in.

Later in the film, Jane (with her hair down) wears her earphones in their room - blocking out communication with her husband.

Later in the film, Jane (with her hair down) wears her earphones in their room – blocking out communication with her husband.

Anyway, while the colouring, music, camera techniques and themes were all great, I must say I wasn’t fully satisfied with the performances of the actors/actresses. Goldberg and Bosworth to be exact. They did a good job at establishing their problematic relationship as a forced couple, but I literally couldn’t hear what they were saying, especially in the opening sequences of the film. Bosworth, while looking elegant and beautiful as always, spoke in a very quiet, timid voice, and along with the musical score quietly humming in the background, I literally could not hear one word she was saying. Goldberg on the other hand, spoke at a more acceptable volume, but his dialogue was performed in a mumble, deeming him as also inaudible. All I can say is, thank god for subtitles.

Jamie Blackley's arms...

Jamie Blackley’s arms…

On the other hand, Jamie Blackley as the young, free-spirited Caleb, was wonderful. His performance was full with energy and he did a great job playing the worry-free teenager. I also couldn’t help but notice his chiseled, perfectly sculpted arms poking out of all his tank tops… but anyway.

just my rating: ★★★★

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