Together (2000)

"Good"

Together (2000) Review


My memory might be a bit hazy, but Together dealt with the following subjects among a dozen different characters: growing up, divorce, lesbianism/homosexuality, loneliness, Communism, spousal abuse, shoddy parenting, infidelity, and marital discontent. I might have forgotten about the release of Abba's third album in there, but again my memory flickers.

What I do remember is that the movie takes place in 1975 Stockholm at a large house full of free-loving Communists -- kind of like The Real World, if Karl Marx and Hugh Hefner shared a flat with an MTV feed. The leader of the group is Göran (Gustav Hammertoe), a gentle fellow with a great beard, whose sister, Elisabeth (Lisa Lindgren), escapes her abusive lout of a husband, Rolf (Michael Nyqvist) by moving with her two kids into Göran's clan. This, of course, sets in motion a series of changes for everyone in the house.

The moviegoer is also in for a challenge. There are so many changes, along with so many characters, that it's hard to keep up. I entirely forgot about two characters before they were reintroduced midway through the film. Dramas with large ensemble casts are difficult to maintain, and Together is a great example of why that happens.

To me the model of a great ensemble drama is Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights, because it took the time and the effort to let us know a bit about each and every character. It also had technical flair and a plot that dug into the characters' hubris and fragile egos. Writer/director Lukas Moodysson doesn't let us know the characters because it's in such a damned hurry. We get no sense of a group dynamic, no sense of character structure. It's the cinematic equivalent of a long flipbook.

Very rarely in Together do we get an idea of the emotions behind the characters. At one point, Göran suddenly and violently throws out his promiscuous girlfriend, Lena (played with misguided, slutty conviction by Anja Lundkvist). It's easily the movie's most passionate moment. We've seen Lena's cavalier treatment of Göran and we understand his action, though he says their relationship is open. However, Moodysson never offers this kind of absorbing history for everyone else, so we're essentially stuck with empty gestures. When he tries to offer some sense of togetherness (no pun intended) like a soccer game or a crowded dinner table, there's little to hold on to because we feel like we don't know these people.

I would have been content just watching Rolf try to win back the confidence of his wife and kids; Rolf's struggle to gain redemption is fully believable and the sturdiest branch on the plot tree. So much goes on that it's not nearly as effective as it should be. The director is too busy looking at the repressed family next door, homosexual encounters, and the household's introduction to meat and television.

There are definitely some highlights sprinkled throughout, apart from the copious amount of nudity (both male and female). The relationship that Elisabeth's pubescent daughter (Emma Samuelsson) has with the boy next door (Henrik Lundström) hits all the awkward notes, as does Enqvist's painful attempts to get back in his family's good graces. The movie needs twenty more minutes, five fewer subplots, and a compass.

Aka Tillsammans.

They show their pits... together.



Facts and Figures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Lars Jönsson

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.