In Toronto, Nickie and Emily have an immediate mutual attraction to each other the first time they speak to the other, although they have seen each other before in their general travels. In the course of their dating and becoming exclusive with each other, they fall in love. It isn't until this exclusivity that each learns the other is a damaged soul. Nickie, raised in England, moved to Toronto following the disappearance of his younger brother, and has worked one service job after another, landing on being a cabbie, in generally behaving like a zombie in his day-to-day life in his inability to cope. He also has a cool relationship with his parents, Katherine and William, because of the situation. His seeming only outlet to express his grief is the occasion fit of temper accompanied by some form of violence, even though he inherently is not a violent person. Emily, an aspiring artist, suffers from bipolar disorder, medication, which she often does not take, and adhering to a "system" ...Written by
Filmed in Toronto, Canada over the course of 16 days. See more »
I Wanna Be (Your Everything)
Written by Winfred Lovett
Performed by The Manhattans
Published by Sanavan Music Co. (BMI) and Bright Star Publishing Co. (BMI)
Courtesy of Westwood Music Group See more »
Affecting film with first rate acting
This is a story told more as an expression of feelings and mood than as an exposition of a finely crafted story. In other words, this is a showcase for the actors more than the writers. Should you approach this film with a need for any more than a bare-bones plot, you will likely leave disappointed. But not every work depends on intricate story details to work effectively. The Other Half tells the story of a relationship between two rather damaged but nevertheless lovely individuals, Emily (Tatiana Maslany) and Nickie (Tom Cullen).
Nickie's damage seems to arise from the loss of a close family member which has traumatized him and his entire family. As in many such cases, he is drawn to someone with problems of her own, in this case Emily, an ebullient artist who suffers from bipolar disorder. For me, The Other Half's strengths lie in making us care about these characters and showing their incredible connection. That Maslany and Cullen are partners in real life inevitably adds to the chemistry between them on screen. The depiction of two young people trying to make a life for themselves starting with almost nothing, attempting the painful process of separating themselves from their parents made me feel nostalgic for a similar time in my own life.
Finally, Tatiana Maslany once again proves herself to be one of the best and most versatile actors working today. She disappears into this role making me fully believe in this character. Having seen her in Orphan Black playing upwards of 20 parts, I was amazed to see her in this film as completely distinct from any of those characters and heart-breakingly emotionally vulnerable. Tom Cullen is likewise engaging, though I feel that the screenplay leaves his Nickie a little too opaque. I get that his numbed expression near the beginning is his expression of grief, but I would have preferred a touch more light shining through to validate Emily's falling so hard for him.
This is a film that operates at its own pace. It will reward the viewer who is willing to slow down, and and take it in moment by moment.
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