The hoary old split-screen device divides audiences as surely as it does characters. Some find it smartly experimental, others find it pointless. In director Hans Canosa’s two-hander, it’s a bit of both. Aaron Eckhart and Helena Bonham Carter take separate screens as people who meet at a wedding, perhaps not for the first time. He thrusts, she parries, he drinks, she smokes. As they edge into one another’s space, a hotel-room assignation looks inevitable.
Initially, Canosa’s formal stunt amplifies their intricate emotional and flirtatious dynamic. We see actions and reactions simultaneously, giving the leads – especially the silver-tongued Eckhart – plenty to sink their teeth into. Sadly, the gradually revealed back-story snuffs the film’s spark, turning the duo’s charged liaison into a one-dimensional study of ageing and gender tussles. Fittingly, but not wholly satisfyingly, a film of two halves.
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