Updated: Feb 11
Directed by: #DariaGeller
A struggling singer (Sekhon) and her manager husband (Kharitonov) travel Russia from show to show, falling in and out of love with each other as they realise how much they need and despise one another in this quirky short film.
Him & Her (2020), directed by Daria Geller, is a fifteen minute romantic comedy drama and presents a wonderful piece examining love and hate and how two people can simply co-exist with each other. The film won Best Short Film and Best Cinematography at the 2020 Indie Short Festival, as well as Best Actress at the Cinalfama Lisbon International Film Awards.
The short is similar to Marriage Story (2019) in that it offers both points of view from the wife and husband and their conflicting views on each other, with insightful voiceovers developing strong characterisations for both leads. The film does a great job at implementing small moments into the playfully grim yet charming script which demonstrates the clear devotion and love shared by the couple, such as a tender intimate scene in a dressing room where the wife leans in to her husband and when she is being sick from travel sickness, he supportively pats her back.
Geller’s cinematography is enthralling, orchestrating smoothly fluid, dynamic shots and highlighting beautiful natural lighting of each shooting locations, whether it be a red neon light backstage or orange glows from bedroom lamps. There is an equal balance between warm and cold colours, which creates an effective visual metaphor for the fractured, yet united relationship between the couple. The colour red symbolises their most passionate moments in the film and although the film is short, their development as characters offers personal details which humanises them.
Both Evgenyi Kharitonov and Miriam Sekhon embody their delightfully mean-spirited, yet passionate leads perfectly and share believable chemistry. It is fascinating to see the constant friction and unity in their dynamic as a couple loving and hating each other, throwing insults in one scene and sharing a loving embrace in another. Both demonstrate admirable range and versatility in their performances. Roi Keidar’s musical score also enhances the comedic elements of the film with some eccentric jazz tracks often playing alongside the dark jokes and summing up the hot and cold relationship between the couple splendidly.
Him & Her is a witty, operatic short with relishing cinematography and an endearingly wholesome narrative, headed by a talented director and charming performers with excellent chemistry. This is a romantic chemistry which certainly lives up to its name!