Marriage. It ain’t easy folks. Well not 100% of the time. So it’s always interesting to see how a filmmaker will portray a married couple and their issues. Will it be light and fluffy or dark and gritty? The film Last Night proves that it doesn’t have to be either to make a good film.
Sam Worthington and Kiera Knightley are a young married couple who seem to have fallen into their routine. They love each other, but don’t seem to have the fire that they probably possessed in the beginning. After seeing her husband’s new coworker, played by the hotness that is Eva Mendes, Joanna begins to feel very insecure, especially since Michael is going on a business trip with his new lady coworker. After he leaves, Joanna bumps into her old flame and some of their long lost passion returns to the surface. The remainder of the film is a “will they, won’t they” guessing game, as Michael and Joanna contemplate putting their marriage on the line for one night of pleasure.
Last Night delves into some interesting territory as the idea of infidelity is presented and carefully considered. It’s not like many other films that allow the spouse(s) to cheat then put all the focus on the aftermath of the decision which always leads to heartbreak. Here Michael and Joanna weigh the consequences of infidelity instead of making a snap decision and hopping into bed with another.
Also, the film also explores the realm of emotional cheating, instead of plain physical cheating. When a spouse confesses their constant fantasies and desires for someone other than their partner, a line has been crossed even if a kiss was never exchanged. And for some, it’s easy to go further past that line once this has happened.
The film is dialogue heavy, but none of that dialogue is ever wasted. Every word is strategically planned to keep you guessing who will cheat and who will be faithful, though in the end no one is completely faithful. And the film doesn’t leave the viewer hanging with some ambiguous ending, to decide for themselves if Michael and Joanna kept their wedding vows. Decisions are definitely made. How the couple copes with those decisions is more interpretive.
Here we get to see the journey into infidelity, instead of the melodramatic consequences. There is never a big confession scene drowning in salty tears, because it’s not really about Joanna and Michael as a couple, but who they are as individuals within that couple. Are they a good husband/wife or aren’t they? The journey they take to find out is worth the wait.