Apr 30, 2023
Phoebe Campbell, Rebecca Calder, Clinton Blake
A scintillating film of lost love, ‘Twofold’ moves at breakneck speed, a rush of love and anger that are only real in films. Yet, while it certainly goes beyond the realms of believability, it progresses confidently forward, and takes us with it on a delightfully heartbreaking and passion-fuelled rollercoaster.
Shot gorgeously in one sweeping take, it is testament to the talents of director Ella Greenwood and her actors Phoebe Campbell, Rebecca Calder and Clinton Blake that at no stage does the film ever lose its edge of drop a beat. Greenwood directs with a kind of poise unusual to such a film, and as she sensually moves the camera in towards the actors, who are ever leaning closer and closer, she captures the raw intensity of their emotions, and butterflies in their stomachs. Only when Matthew (Clinton Blake) casually strolls into the frame is this intensity interrupted and a lesser director would have lowered the standard of their camerawork at this point, yet Greenwood maintains a firm grasp on the camera, maintaining the intimacy of previous scenes, so that you feel that Matthew’s presence really is an interruption, rather than just an excuse to give the actors and director some rest from the gruelling one-take.
Campbell and Calder are exquisitely matched as the conflicting souls of Allie and Erin respectively. The two possess a magnetic chemistry which makes their simmering romance, and desolate past together seem all the more real, allowing you to forgo any sense that just maybe things are moving a little too fast. Allie and Erin are at a party celebrating the New Year’s festivities, or, more precisely, Allie is working while Erin is a guest, when the two meet downstairs in the kitchen. The dim lighting as Allie shocks Erin, who is stealing a drink, immediately sets the mood, and the characters run with that intimacy, until a shocking revelation takes the film in an unexpectedly curious direction.
With a twist that surely M. Night Shyamalan would be proud of, Toto Bruin’s screenplay is a curious beast. On the one hand, it expertly sets the scene and creates tension through the weight of a word that oozes off the screen. On the other, it is too direct, with subtext either not there, or weakly convening a point, which doesn’t help the overall sense that ‘Twofold’ is in a hurry to reach its conclusion. This wouldn’t be a problem, and often happens in one-take films, if it weren’t for the fact that it leaves points carelessly glossed over, when they should be explored further with just a few extra lines.
Nevertheless, ‘Twofold’ is mesmerising and haunting in equal regard, in a manner which takes you by surprise yet never feels too rogue. There’s something beautiful in its rushed expression and outpouring of wild emotive passion - and this goes through a whole range of emotions - which is captured through Ella Greenwood’s lens with an equal enthusiasm, tempered with a restraint which only amplifies both the intimacy and aggression that Phoebe Campbell and Rebecca Calder display with a sense of potency.