Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Movie with Abe: 6 Years

6 Years
Directed by Hannah Fidell
Released September 8, 2015 on Netflix

Conveying time and the history of any relationship in a film is a difficult task. There are intricacies and brief moments that need to demonstrate much more than they might explicitly do, giving those watching a sense that there exists a wealth of previous experiences and events that play into what is specifically occurring in the present. In “6 Years,” the title time period is the length of the romantic relationship between Melanie (Taissa Farmiga) and Dan (Ben Rosenfield), two young adults just starting to figure out where life will take them and forced to consider whether their paths will be together or separate.

Both Melanie and Dan, in their early years after college, are in relatively ideal positions. Melanie is getting hands-on experience in a classroom as an assistant teacher, and Dan is interning at a record label where getting kept on almost always translates to an impending job offer. Their relationship has not necessarily evolved with them, however, as after six years they are no closer to deciding what or when the next step will be. They have known each other forever, and therefore their parents are extremely familiar with each partner and invested in some way in the future of the relationship, which seems unknown at best given both parties’ attitudes and motivations.

Most of the interactions we see between Melanie and Dan find them in insolation, spending time in a room together or at a party. There is a disconcerting casual violence inserted into the romance when, in the middle of a fight, Melanie pushes Dan and injures him far more than might be expected. This becomes a trend throughout the film, as Melanie responds with unintentional physical consequences when Dan harms her emotionally by failing to consider her or outright disregarding her role in his life.

“6 Years” showcases an intriguing but familiar relationship dynamic and does not attempt to sugarcoat or whitewash the inherent flaws in both the individuals on their own and the couple together. Farmiga, who has spent much of her career starring on “American Horror Story,” is raw and real as Melanie, who remains headstrong despite her shortcomings and optimistic even with worries plaguing her mind. Rosenfield, who played Nucky Thompson’s nephew on “Boardwalk Empire,” builds up a wall around Dan’s emotions that makes its inevitable destruction all the more potent and powerful. This film is far from affirming, inspiring, or satisfying, but there is a certain intensity and roughness that makes it worthwhile.


No comments: