Amy and I
Jun 17, 2023
Sytse Faber, Eline Havenaar
Captivating Dutch film Amy and I invites us to dinner with Amy and her ex-partner John. What starts as happily catching up with John over old times soon reveals a lot more, with Amy clearly struggling to move fully beyond the relationship, before the evening transforms into a situation that is much more serious.
There is little more to want to say about the films story to be honest without ruining the experience entirely. Suffice it to say that Amy and I is a film that will surprise many when all is said and done, especially those unprepared. What must be said however, is that both director Bastian Rook and writer Martijn Daamen combine what are clearly enormous talents to present their narrative with pinpoint precision, with a tight but extremely well-thought-out script driving all other aspects of a fully accomplished film that grips from beginning to end, unafraid to explore darker themes and push buttons. To put it simply, in terms of pure filmmaking, it’s a real triumph.
It’s one-take presentation might not be the newest trick in cinema these days but the way in which such a method is used here seems not only fresh but integral to the telling of this story, it’s clear to see that this piece simply wouldn’t be the same without it. The positioning of the camera angle, starting just over the shoulder of this private conversation works wonders, making us feel like we’re actually eavesdropping on our characters from the next table. The way the camera then moves perspective as it progresses emphasises the shift in tone as the tension builds, slowing edging the audience in closer until they become almost complicit in the proceedings, punished for listening in in the first place. It's simply top-drawer cinematography.
Again, it shows there’s a meticulousness, an attention to detail here that elevates this entire project to a whole other level. Everything aligns here, the discordant score hits at the subconscious, working the tension into the viewer the whole way through. The light and shade from both Havenaar and Faber’s performances give the film an authenticity and an integrity that makes such simple yet elegantly characters so compelling.
But ultimately, it’s the wonderfully crafted and purposefully unreliable narrative that will keep you glued to the screen to try and get any sort of handle on what is going to happen here. Amy and I delivers a punch to the gut in its final moments that you will not see coming even if you are one for guessing how a story might end up playing out.
Beautifully set, beautifully shot and beautifully thought out, Amy and I is an enthralling six-and-a-half-minute watch that delivers delightfully in every way you’d want it to.