Are We Lost Forever
This Swedish drama about a breakup sets out its stall from the very first image: a couple (Björn Elgerd and Jonathan Andersson) sitting silently in bed, staring shell-shocked ahead as they come to terms with the end of their relationship. Settle in for 100 minutes of Scandi sadness, beautifully acted and sparsely populated. The only music is diegetic and the silences speak volumes. In what might be the most Swedish scene ever put to film, the newly separated characters discuss who keeps which items of furniture – an apparently practical conversation rich with subtext around memory and loss.
David Färdmar’s debut feature is based on his short film No More We, and, as can sometimes happen when trying to turn a short-form idea into a longer narrative, the material is stretched to fill the extra space. The pacing feels slow as both men traverse the stages of grief, from denial and bargaining to depression and casual sex. The narrative decision to start with the end of a relationship and refrain from showing the preceding romance is a bold one, but leaves the plot having to contrive a series of coincidental meetings that increasingly stretch plausibility – culminating in a chance encounter at a nurse’s surgery where both characters are having sexual health checkups to indicate that they have new partners, then proceed to arrange an unlikely double date while the nurse stands there smiling.
If you should want to watch a sad (and sexually explicit) depiction of the awkwardness and sorrow of a breakup, Are We Lost Forever certainly delivers. It avoids a lot of gay film clichés by circumventing the self-discovery path and focusing on grown-up, flawed individuals. Even so the film grows tiring, requiring some more characters, music or dynamics to break up the drama.
Are We Lost Forever is released digitally on demand on 18th January 2021.
Watch the trailer for Are We Lost Forever here: