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‘The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him’ review



Cast: , ,



Compelling story. McAvoy is great.


It's not 'Her'.

Posted 24/09/2014 by

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The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby might sound like a movie about a kidnapping but no, it’s a heartbreaking story about a couple that has to deal with the greatest test a relationship or marriage can ever endure. Director Ned Benson divided his film in 3 pieces: one of the male perspective, one of the female perspective and one of ‘their’ perspective. This choice is totally justified and artistic, and not simply just to generate more money. These different point of views have a resonant value and really contribute to make the experience way more poignant. I will not say anything about Chastain in this review, i will save that for ‘Her’.


The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby kicks off with an introduction of the couple, demonstrating the admiration Conor and Eleanor have for each other. Ned Benson does that splendidly by placing them in an extraordinary and exciting situation, he establishes to never overdo it’s development. It feels really authentic, sincere and pure. Shortly after that the premise of the story kicks in. Eleanor disappears out of the blue, and without that “why?” it gets even more intriguing and that’s where the point of views come in. When experiencing ‘Him’ you will get so opinionated on certain events, but that turns around in ‘Her’ while you are looking at the exact same thing. Scintillating.


The chemistry between McAvoy and Chastain is astonishing. Besides that the characters are so profoundly well written, it’s also so brilliantly acted. So much subtle emotional depth and nuance. McAvoy nails the restraining way of dealing with such a tragedy. That’s what makes it’s such a marvelous experience, Benson nails the differences and conflicts between the sexes wonderfully well. ‘Him’ is a stage for a lot of set ups who get their completion in ‘Her’ (like why Eleanor is in the hospital for instance) and this lack of knowledge is a very important drive for The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby and the different tones of both perspectives.


The way Conor tries to keep their relationship alive by stalking Eleanor is endearing, especially because for him his future seems as uncertain as it does for us.This heartfelt portrait has it’s peak in the scene where Eleanor visits Conor to take a car ride where they re-gain their love. More or less. The emotional dialogued outburst is outright poignant. Very emotional, but so far off being melodramatic or sentimental. Conor preparing to move is another key-scene of Benson’s integrated subtle emotional elements. He doesn’t give it any emotional attention but when Conor collects all of Cody’s stuff any human being should have chills, very moving. Don’t expect any closure here, it leaves more questions than answers. Son Lux’s music is mesmerizing and Jacquelyn Willard’s “The Lucky One” is such a great song choice. The intimate cinematography by Blauvelt is breathtaking, except towards the end where Conor and Eleanor get more intimate.


A wonderful first part of the heartbreaking ordeal about a loving couple but not being able to cope with their loss but in their own. McAvoy is great as ‘Him’. Make sure you will watch ‘Him’ before ‘Her’, because ‘Him’ clearly a set up for ‘Her’.

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Breaking through cinema one movie at a time. Aesthetics above all, Antonioni, Malick & Godard are the G.O.A.T.s. I have a gargantuan soft spot for Vanessa Hudgens. Benoit Debie = THE cinematographer. Don't make war, make art.


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