Macao Film Review: ‘Two/One’

Variety | 12/8/2019 | Jessica Kiang
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Sometimes when you look out of an airplane window during a long-haul flight you get a view like the God’s-eye imagery that occasionally punctuates Argentinian filmmaker Juan Cabral’s intriguing debut: a dark, curved horizon rimmed with the glimmer of a new dawn. “Two/One,” the celebrated advertising director’s first full-length feature, seems born of this lofty, sleep-deprived perspective.

Two men, strangers to one another and living on opposites sides of the planet, share a yin-and-yang-like connection through cycles of sleep and wakefulness. But this immaculately built film (the level of craft is not, perhaps, unexpected given Cabral’s background as the director of the Cadbury’s “Gorilla” spot and the famous Sony Bravia “Balls” ad), is most remarkable for the warm, intensely real-feeling observation of these two different but gently echoing lives. For all the vaguely New-Age-y philosophy that underpins the movie, “Two/One” is lovely to look at, engagingly humane and surprisingly down to earth, at least until Cabral’s script lapses into overdetermination later on and the subtle magic fizzles out in a fog of tediously unanswerable practicalities.

Kaden - Boyd - Holbrook - Ski-jumper - Barrel

Kaden (Boyd Holbrook) is a Canadian professional ski-jumper, staring down the barrel of career obsolescence at 35 years old; Khai (Song Yang) is a successful executive living an atomized, alienated life in corporate Shanghai. Kaden’s ex-girlfriend Martha (Dominique McElligott), now married with a kid, gets in touch with him one day and they strike up an affair. Meanwhile, professionally slick but socially awkward Khai tentatively approaches new co-worker Jia (Zhu Zhu), whom he recognizes from the internet revenge-porn site he uses as masturbation material. Kaden’s father (Beau Bridges) suddenly decides to divorce his mother after decades of marriage; Khai’s widower Dad (Gabriel Tsai) confesses to his son that on the day of his wedding he felt “like the loneliest man in the world.” And as Kaden makes...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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