Movie Review

'All Of Us Strangers' On Disney+ Hotstar Movie Review: Andrew Scott-Paul Mescal Deliver A Hauntingly Beautiful Tale Of Love And Loss

Outlook Rating:
4.5 / 5

Andrew Haigh's feature film, 'All of Us Strangers,' is now available to stream on Disney+ Hotstar. Is it worth your time, or can you skip it? Read on to know more.

IMDb
'All Of Us Strangers' Photo: IMDb
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Magic, that’s exactly what this film is. Titled ‘All of Us Strangers,’ the movie is written and directed by Andrew Haigh. After screening at various international film festivals, and earning six prestigious BAFTA nominations, the Andrew Scott-starrer is finally available to watch at the comfort of your homes. So, in case you’re planning on giving it a watch, here’s what you must know about this haunting yet hard-hitting movie.

‘All of Us Strangers’: Story

Loosely based on the 1987 novel ‘Strangers’ by Taichi Yamada, the story follows a lonely screenwriter, Adam (Andrew Scott), who reconnects with his deceased parents (Jamie Bell and Claire Foy), whom he never told he was gay, in the familiar corners of the suburbs where he grew up. The only other resident in Adam’s modern apartment in London, the mysterious neighbour Harry (Paul Mescal), shows up at his doorstep one evening, drunk and maybe a little desperate. After their first meeting, Harry visits Adam again, this time sober, and they hit it off. As they grow closer and let each other in on their vulnerabilities, Adam feels a deep sadness knowing his parents will never meet the person he cares for deeply, all while uncovering troubling secrets about his past and questioning the nature of reality itself.

‘All of Us Strangers’: Performances

Andrew Scott delivers a captivating performance that brings Adam’s complex emotional journey to life. With subtle yet powerful gestures and expressions, Scott peels back the layers of his character, revealing his loneliness, and emotional complexities. You can feel the pain as he grapples with the weight of his unspoken truths about his sexuality and the longing to connect with his long-gone parents. A lot of his expressions convey a myriad of emotions without the need for words.

Similarly, Paul Mescal brings about a heartfelt performance to the screen. From his first scene itself, he will lure you in with his portrayal of a man who is both mysterious and vulnerable. And as the story progresses, he becomes a memorable and integral part of Adam’s journey. He beautifully complements Scott, fostering a genuine sense of intimacy and connection between their characters.

Jamie Bell and Claire Foy deliver powerful performances stepping in as Adam’s parents, showcasing a raw authenticity that is truly captivating. Together, they skilfully portray the pain and yearning of parents witnessing their son’s struggle with grief. Their performances, filled with tumultuous facial expressions, are poignant and deeply affecting, and the character development they have, individually, is a marvel to witness.

All four brilliant stars have given it their best shot and it’s wonderfully evident, making it seem too real to be true.

‘All of Us Strangers’: Script, Direction & Technical Aspects

You can tell this film is close to Andrew Haigh’s heart for it is too gorgeous, heart-shattering and deeply personal. What makes this movie so compelling is how it takes you through a spectrum of different emotions – love, loss, fear, regret, desire, connection, and at last, acceptance. I, for one, have not even remotely come close to experience what the characters in the film have and yet, in a way I could relate to it? I know that probably doesn’t make sense but there’s just a tint of universality in how the characters have been so beautifully written and how their arcs end up intertwining in a web of emotions. The story beautifully illustrates the timeless and boundless nature of love, showing that it is the most powerful feeling one could experience.

The movie will most definitely have you in a chokehold. Both as a writer and a director, Haigh has outdone himself.

Visually, while it could get confusing at times to differentiate between heart-wrenching reality and dreamy imagination, you can easily let it slide because you will end up finding out which is which in a few seconds. With a tactile and tender lens, Jamie Ramsay captures the intimacy and sensitivity of the characters. To be able to evoke a sense of wonder and highlight the complexity of human intimacy is no easy feat, but he has made the best use of all different kinds of camera angles, along with various hues. In addition to this, the editing is seamless, thanks to Jonathan Albert. You will be taken into a different scene with a slow fade, and soon enough, you will find yourself immersed in a setting different from the previous one at a slow pace.

One important aspect in the movie is the music. Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch’s atmospheric compositions harmonize with the intense settings and draw you in. These undertones are complemented by pre-existing music choices. Whether it’s Pet Shop Boys’ ‘Always on My Mind’ or Frankie’s ‘The Power of Love,’ they play a crucial role in making sense of the entire narrative.

‘All of Us Strangers’: Cast & Crew

Director: Andrew Haigh

Cast: Andrew Scott, Paul Mescal, Jamie Bell, and Claire Foy

Available On: Disney+ Hotstar       

Duration: 106 minutes           

Premiere Date: May 8, 2024

Genre: Romantic fantasy

Language: English

‘All Of Us Strangers’: Can Kids Watch It?

No.

Outlook’s Verdict

A sight for sore eyes, but heavy to the heart and mind – that’s what I’m going to go with. Despite its emotionally heavy narrative, ‘All of Us Strangers’ ultimately shows the strength of the human spirit. What sets apart this film, directed by Andrew Haigh, is its raw and distinctive depiction of emotions. Through its compelling storytelling and outstanding performances, it highlights the idea that even in the toughest of times, acceptance is the key to move on and that, there’s always a chance for growth.

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