Husbands and Wives (1992)

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Director:  Woody Allen

I decided to watch another Woody Allen movie, after I watched Annie Hall a few weeks ago.

The main premise of this film is two couples, neither happily married. One couple decides to separate and start dating again, and the story is the relationships and how they evolve over time. It is a story of regret, falling out of love, falling in love, and moving on. I can’t say more without giving anything away and that is the main plot.

There are a lot of interesting shooting styles that can be discussed in length, however. On multiple occasions, the camera would stay stagnant on one of two actors sharing a dialogue. I thought this was a very interesting style, and I have not seen it before. It’s unsettling to not be able to see the emotions on the face of the other person, but I still appreciate the uniqueness of the shot. Throughout the movie, when something pivotal happened in the plot, the main character involved in the scene would be “interviewed”, seemingly by a therapist. All the characters must be seeing a therapist, otherwise this would make no sense. It gave a different kind of insight into the moods and feelings of the characters that you usually don’t see or hear.

At times, there was also a narrator, which I am learning to be a common theme in Woody Allen’s style of films. Shaky cameras also seem to be a theme. The camera would follow actors with shaky hands.

One scene that really stuck out to me, was when one of the character’s ex-husbands was interviewed at one point. It was interesting to see both sides of one story. Usually, unless the two characters are both pivotal to the story (not the case here). you don’t hear both sides. The actor says a line, and you believe it as truth and don’t question it. You will either resent the character for it, feel for them, etc depending on the circumstances.

The lighting would be best described as low-key, and there were a lot of shallow focus shots, as well as rack focus.

I enjoyed this film, and plan to watch more Woody Allen films.

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