As you get older, everyone around you seems to disappear and time goes by so quickly, you wonder where it all goes. The person you thought you would be with until the end of time is gone and now you don’t know what to do with yourself. Who do you go to for entertainment and comfort in those lonely times? Maybe go to someone who you know that is in the same situation as you?
Adapted from the Kent Haruf novel, Our Souls at Night is a Netflix original worth watching. Director Ritesh Batra manages to immaculately construct and perfectly formulate a love story everyone will fall in love with. It’s a film that has already come with expert criticism being shown at Venice Film Festival and winning over audiences. From the very beginning, I was won over and being a fan of romance films myself, I had to stay until the very end.
Louis (Robert Redford) is a lonesome old man who lives in a small town within the borders of Colorado. Recently becoming a widow, he doesn’t know what to do in his day to day life. He is in a repetitive cycle of doing what he is so used to doing until Addie (Jane Fonda) comes along. Also a recent widower, Addie plucks up the courage to ask Louis for his company as nights are the worst for her. Starting with just sleeping together (no, not like that), Louis and Addie get to know each other better and revel in each other’s pasts, looking back on memories that they have shared with others. However, living just over the road from each other comes with its consequences. The neighbours begin to talk and before you could even say ‘Jack Robinson’, every Tom, Dick and Harry knew within the neighbourhood. With this all coming to light, not everyone within the family circle is a fan of their relationship. No matter how difficult ones past may have been, not everyone forgets what they have done.
Ritesh Batra made his feature debut with The Lunchbox and Our Souls at Night doesn’t fall too far from the tree. It’s graceful, easy-going and such a lovely film to watch. Fun fact: over fifty years ago, Redford and Fonda appeared together in the 1966 classic The Chase. Now, fifty years on, they’re together again, creating a loving partnership once more, proving they are onscreen couple made for each other. From the beginning, you are thrown into this relationship. “Talk to me” being the essence of them bonding, Louis not knowing what to say to such a gesture but with Addie being so elegant and beautiful in her old age, he can do nothing more but to accept the offer. Both give performances of true honesty that it barely looks like acting at all. The two 60’s poster children both old and withering, Batra plays on that to his advantage. Using their old age and a plotline of modern commodities trying to break through, the loving tenderness and togetherness are ever more endearing to the viewer’s eyes. I hope that when I’m as old and frail, I have the same luck as Louis did in capturing the eye of Addie. I probably won’t be as lucky…