Together: A Crashing Bore Masquerading As A Marital Masterpiece
Starring James McAvoy and Sharon Horgan
Directed by Stephen Daldry
Rating: * ½
Together(Amazon Prime) Movie Review: I should have been warned by the utterly fake fireworks that Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor threw at one another in director Doug Liman’s lockdown marital crisis film Locked Down last year.
Some misguided sense of optimism propelled me towards another slugfest between two very talented actors posing as a couple on the brink of breakup during the lockdown.
Now, I must confess I am not a James McAvoy fan. Although he is unquestionably skilled at slicing through his characters’ monstrous run-ins with self-doubt he remains to me, slightly annoying his sweaty personality,like the Jamaican stunner Lashana Lynch in No Time To Die.
You know, that guy or girl at a party who will come forward and befriend you, tell you jokes you don’t want to hear, fetch you a drink and insist he/she is intelligent enough to give you company?
That’s McAvoy for you. No matter how goodlooking personable and articulate there is something vaguely irritating about such people.I had no problems at all in buying into his screen-wife’s hurled accusations in Together about the husband (addressed simply as ‘He’) being a pain in the ass. In fact as played by the wonderful Sharon Horgan( wasn’t she the life and soul of the series Catastrophe?) the wife’s pungent perspective stuck home because McAvoy seems to be all of what she says he is.
The film is less than 90 minutes in length but seems to go on much longer. Watching a couple fight during the pandemic in the house nextdoor would probably make more sense. You know they are doing it out of boredom. This is London during the pandemic. Extraneous characters and noises are shut out as McAvoy and Horgan shout out to one another with accusations and insults that have a history which we do not really care to know.
Even if we do , their belligerent bickering is unintelligible to the outsider. Admittedly there are passages where the two strong lead players lead us into their characters’ mutual hostility to ferret out that love which bound them together in the past.
Morgan is specially persuasive when she talks about her mom dying in Covid isolation in the hospital. But such episodes where the hefty hostility is halted , are rare. For a large part of the slinging march all we get is impenetrable sarcasm and a growing sense of a doomed marriage and a partnership which has gone into remission during these hard times.
There is also a specially-abled child sauntering around somewhere in the background, not saying a word. How can he? When his parents are so voluble they sound like roosters circling each other during the mating season.
I remember a special child in the brilliant director Stephen Daldry’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. Extremely loud, the couple in Together certainly is. Incredibly close to despair is where they leave us.