How far would you really go to be with the one that you love?
Many of us think we have the answer to this question yet, when the moment arrives, our true hearts are always revealed. When trouble finally rocks the boat of our relationships, will we stand back? Or are we willing to stay and fight? This type of undying love is explored in Two of Us, a film which understands the real passion of romance stems from one’s commitment to their significant other.
Two of Us tells the story of Nina (Barbara Sukowa) and Madeleine (Martine Chevallier), two retired women who have been romantically involved for decades. Though they spend their daily lives together, their relationship has remained largely in secret over that time, especially to Madeleine’s family. However, when Madeleine suddenly falls ill, their relationship is turned upside down and Nina must find a way to hide their secret while also caring for the woman that she loves.
Directed by Fillipo Meneghetti, Two of Us is a powerful and heartbreaking piece that puts the wildness of love on full display. For his first feature, Meneghetti makes a stunning debut. Though he isn’t flashy in his approach, his confidence and skill as a storyteller is fully evident. Using basic medium shots and a flattened colour palette, Meneghetti keeps the focus on the cast and the marvellous script. Well-written and earnestly performed, Two of Us is a simple film about what it means to care for someone so deeply that you’ll do anything to support them in their time of need.
As the film’s central emotional core, the chemistry between Chevallier and Sokowa is absolutely palpable. Even though Chevallier spends much of the film quietly healing, every moment that they are onscreen together contains a complex blend of tenderness and ferocity. However, while both women deliver solid performances, its Sokowa’s work here that is nothing short of remarkable. As a woman driven by love, there’s a wildness within her performance that borders on dangerous at times yet never strays from her undying commitment to her partner.
Because, for Nina, Madeleine is all that matters.
In fact, the love on display between these two women is something truly unique. This is not the blazing heat of a passionate affair or even the infatuation of youth. Instead, Two of Us gives an unfiltered look at the type of love that lasts. Despite their differences and struggles as a couple, Nina and Madeleine remain absolutely committed to one another. After Madeleine is hospitalized, Nina is understandably shocked yet she responds with ferocious dedication to the love of her life.
Although her methods can be extreme (see ‘headlight, smashing’), she herself is not unstable. Instead, her desire to be with her lover drives everything that she does, whether its ensuring Madeleine gets the proper medical care to even sneaking into the apartment at night so that they can visit. (What’s more, even the act of keeping their secret becomes an act of love as Nina seeks to honour Madeleine’s wishes, despite the massive stress and personal cost.) In this way, Nina’s dedication to Madeleine is both sacrificial and steady, as opposed to merely sexual. Unlike other onscreen romances in recent years, theirs is a story of two souls who remain deeply connected in the most intimate of ways.
And, for better or for worse, that is the ultimate depiction of love.
Two of Us is available on VOD, DVD and Blu-Ray on February 5th, 2021.