The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

Last Night

Last Night: Intelligent and Subtle Drama

  • Eva MendesGuillaume Canet...
  • DramaRomance
  • Massy Tadjedin
reviewed by
Omar Atef
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Last Night: Intelligent and Subtle Drama

Romantic drama Last Night follows the
lives of professionally successful couple Michael (Worthington) and Joanna
Reed (Knightley). At a party, Joanna notices that Michael is paying particular
attention to his attractive colleague Laura (Mendes), and
she accuses him of being a bit too friendly with her. Having argued and reconciled that same night, matters
are still left unresolved as Michael leaves for a business trip with Laura. While Michael is away, Joanna bumps into old love Alex (Canet), which reignites
flames that never completely died out. Both are forced to face decisions, as
lust, love and faithfulness collide.

There’s something about a story
driven by secrecy and desire that never fails to entertain; we always want to
know what’s happening behind the curtains. The plot of Last Night is
brilliantly simple and realistic, but never loses its spark. It’s not often
that two non-American actors would be cast in a Hollywood film like this, but both
Worthington and Knightley deliver performances that live up to the hype that their
work in recent years has garnered; their chemistry as a married couple on the
verge of breakdown is right on point. Mendes too delivers a precise and measured performance
as the subtle seductress.

The
strength of the film comes from its foundations; the script. It’s a well
written and delicately interwoven story, with deep and well-formed characters.
The film moves at a slow pace, and its script would read
more like a play, not a Hollywood film.

The
whole feel of the film is one of intelligent subtlety, and the ambiance is
demure and refined in its
storytelling. It’s this backdrop that allows the actors to shine. Even the
cinematography and the music used are faintly effective, add to the tense atmosphere of the tale. This is writer/director Massy Tadjedin’s directorial debut, and with Last Night she has filtered down film-making into the the art of good storytelling and realistic character arcs.

It isn’t often that you can have the
combination of a great script with big name actors. Even then, the two elements do not promise a good end result. Fortunately, Last Night doesn’t disappoint on
any level, and is well worth a watch for a mature and sophisticated audience;
one who is prepared to take the time to really watch and appreciate a well told
tale.

Like This? Try

Closer, Vicky Christina Barcelona, Revolutionary Road

360 Tip

Jessica Biel auditioned for the role of Joanna, before Knightley was chosen. This isn't the second time director Tadjedin has worked with Knightley, having written the screenplay for The Jacket (2005), in which Knightley starred alongside Adrien Brody.

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