The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them

(2014)

Two separate but united stories, about the break down of one couple's marriage, told from both his and her perspective. James McAvoy (The Last King of Scotland) and Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) star as Conor and Eleanor in this complex dual tale that examines the subjective nature of perspective by weaving together two people's recollections of the same relationship. There are three versions of the film released. Him is the story from Conor's perspective, Her is from Eleanor's perspective and Them combines both view points.

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Flicks Review

There is something wonderful about the concept of these films. For that is what The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby was conceived as – and released to festivals worldwide including Sydney and Melbourne – two separate films: Him and Her. Now we have a third: Them.... More

The conceit was two movies, set over the same time period, each dealing with one side of a break up. For reasons redacted to prevent narrative spoilage, James McAvoy’s Conor and Jessica Chastain’s Eleanor begin their stories as their marriage explodes. In the original pair of films, some scenes overlap but are filmed from each protagonist’s perspective. The majority of each deals with one person’s journey through massive life change, grief and emotional turmoil.

In theory, at least one of them should be perfect for anyone who has ever experienced heartbreak.

The problem with each of those films lies in the fact that they both run out of story approximately two thirds of the way through. Him in particular cheats its ending entirely.

On the other hand, the problem with Them lies in its first two thirds. Mashed together they are shorn of their unique subjective charm. The first half hour in particular is jarringly erratic as two intentionally disparate (and clever) starts are stitched together according to the Igor school of surgical subtlety.

Ultimately there is something of a film school case study level of interest in the original pair, available on VOD, however the highlights package hitting cinemas feels too much like a reunited couple that never should have got back together. It just doesn’t work.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

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The Press Reviews

63% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • At its core is a most affecting portrait of two people who love each other, but may no longer be able to live as one... Full Review

  • While Benson treats his characters with care and respect, his depiction of grief can feel studied and not felt. Full Review

  • Despite the sparkling cast and engaging, well-tuned turns from Chastain and McAvoy, the scaled-down script doesn't carry much weight, bogged down by clunky, Hallmark dialogue. Full Review

  • Although all the main characters and plot points survive the transition intact, they don't carry the same weight. Full Review

  • The film feels more thrown-together than thought-through, but the best moments transcend such problems. Full Review