Twin Cities is an indie film/drama that metaphorically and practically demonstrates that those of us who have experienced tragedy or depression have our own ways trying to find inner peace, whether that be in expressionistic writing, drugs, everyday conversation, or religion. Twin Cities is in many ways a modern Greek Tragedy with characters that are hauntingly compelling yet relatable.
The film is written and directed by Dave Ash – still new to film-making but not a director or writer to sleep on. Twin Cities demonstrates many marks of pure genius in its script as well as in Ash’s directing. This is not a perfect film, it’s biggest flaw being the editing but that will be touched on later. However, if you can follow the many threads that this film weaves you will end at a very thought provoking conclusion.
Full disclosure: my initial thoughts on Twin Cities were not positive. The story goes to places that were unexpected and that, frankly, I was not prepared for. Some of the editing choices make the film hard to follow, especially at the beginning. However, after giving myself ample time to digest the content placed before me is when I began to see the genius in the film’s writing and acting.
The way in which this story is told is very gutsy; gutsy in a way that could either make or break the film. It took me a day or two before I really began to understand what Ash was going for. There are some metaphors presented that require deeper level thinking and one big one that suddenly and unexpectedly turns the majority of the movie into one big allegory. It is at this daring moment in the storytelling that some will either appreciate Twin Cities for what it accomplishes with compelling narrative or be turned off completely – labeling the film as “pretentious.” After mulling the film over I admittedly I fall in the camp of admiration.
The characters John and Emily, played to perfection by Clarence Wethern and Bethany Ford Binkley, are a married couple that long for the days where they were once happy. Both are overworked, and stressed over deadlines to the point that the romance has fizzled out. However, after John is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he realizes that living in the moment and sparking a new romance with his pregnant and loving wife is his most important priority before his apparent death. However, their relationships takes some very surreal turns in a way that nobody could have predicted.
As stated, the film is not perfect – its biggest flaw being the editing. The beginning of the film is hard to follow because it jumps back and forth between different times in John and Emily’s relationship yet with no clear sign of when it does so. It happens often, and without warning. There were times where I was forced to look for Emily’s pregnant belly or for a ring on her finger just so that I would know where in the timeline of their relationship we stood – “wait, are they married right now or are they dating?” Clearer editing cuts or possibly changing filters or lighting would have made these time changes more apparent, therefore making the film easier to follow. The movie also runs a little long, there were some scenes, or sequences with scenes, that needed to be trimmed out. Better allowing for more fluid pacing from beginning to end.
Even if the film is not to your particular liking, it offers many themes to ponder over. The acting is excellent and storytelling compelling (once you are able to understand where scenes lie in the timeline). This is not a film for everyone, but one I think everyone should view due to the themes it puts in your mind to ponder. I’m giving Twin Cities a score of 6/10. It trips over itself at times, and needs work with editing and pacing, but offers great performances and genius level directing.
Are you going to watch Twin Cities? If you have seen it already, what did you think? Leave a comment below and let’s make a discussion out of it.