The Movie Waffler New Release Review [DVD/Digital] - ARE WE LOST FOREVER | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review [DVD/Digital] - ARE WE LOST FOREVER

Are We Lost Forever review
A young gay couple undergoes a difficult breakup.

Review by Benjamin Poole

Directed by: David Färdmar

Starring: Björn Elgerd, Jonathan Andersson, Micki Stoltt, Nemanja Stojanovic, Victor Iván

Are We Lost Forever poster

Who says that the best loves last forever? We never see Cinderella and Prince Charming a few years down the line with the bloom well and truly rubbed off that rose, their relationship now built solely upon compromise and a crippling fear of moving on; the initial excitement of misfit slippers and class ascendancy long since disappeared like a midnight pumpkin. Populist cinema traditionally highlights the rush and consummation of initial attraction, with scant attention paid to the business end of relationships. However, more recently the break-up trope has become a resurgent element of the Rom Com genre, where jolly conflict is duly forged by amorous disorder. It is also the stuff of Important Cinema, where heady emotional narratives allow actors much wailing and gnashing of teeth, with no scenery left unchewed, cf. Marriage Story. A part of this tradition, writer/director David Färdmar’s Are We Lost Forever likewise prioritises the protracted end of a relationship between two handsome, middle class creatives (the marketing even shares a similar poster layout to Baumbach’s divorce discourse).

Are We Lost Forever review

The difference is that the beauteous stars of Are We Lost Forever are two young men, Adrian (Björn Elgerd) and Hampus (Jonathan Andersson), for whom the spark has gone. And, look, it IS different. No one would expect any couple to be treated differently due to the genders or sexualities involved, but certain dynamics have varying cultural contexts. For one thing, what most heterosexual couples may take for granted - marriage, children, acceptance - are often not quite as straightforward for gay people. And that’s before we even touch upon (ooer!) the sybaritic male rush of sexuality that being young and homosexual in the city entails; the ease of access to sex which Are We Lost Forever visually indulges in extended, idealised sequences. In fact, emblematic of the central relationship throughout the film is the conjugal bed which we open upon, as Hampus breaks it post-coitally to Adrian that he’s had enough. The conversation is as simpatico as these things go, until, divvying up their stuff, Hampus insists on having his ‘half’ of the bed back (it’s one of those link beds you sometimes get in hotels). The bed is, after all, where couples share pillow talk, the vulnerabilities of sleep, and, of course, shag.

Are We Lost Forever review

And that shagging! For the most part, Are We Lost Forever is glacial and removed, the various ups and downs of the break-up (extended, back and forth, like the worst ones are) shown in tableaus in which Färdmar allows his young cast to do their (good) work communicating the anguish of a break-up between those still fledgling enough for it to be a novelty. The style catalyses when we see Hampus and Adrian fall back into old habits or witness their various hook ups as they experiment with new partners. Färdmar’s camera stares, leers, captures with an electricity not current with the rest of the film: the thirst is real (as is the verisimilitude of the sex scenes, which have fealty to the contortions and angling necessary for this particular act of ardour). A plot point is made of this, too, with Hampus aligning Adrian’s top status with his need to control situations.

Are We Lost Forever review

These rousing sequences, however, are linked by rather quotidian scenes of each of the men’s attempts to get over and get on. To give you an idea, Hampus gets his guitar out and pours himself into the music. That sort of thing. The film does flirt with the undercurrents of break ups: how far do you have to moon over someone before it becomes stalking; does Adrian actually bemoan the loss of Hampus or is it more that he resents the fact his fella got his elbow in first? But Are We Lost Forever falls short of fully committing to these concepts. Furthermore, perhaps because they are so young and good looking, and exist within a stylised utopia of Scandi pop and The White Company interiors, it is hard to relate to either of these Sad Gays. The harsh actualities of breaking up is a universal touchstone, but even the most bleeding of hearts will want to yell at the screen for these lads to get over it.

Are We Lost Forever is on UK Digital, DVD and blu-ray from January 18th.

2021 movie reviews