Film of the Day (04/11/18): The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and Her

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and Her
Written By Ned Benson
Directed by Ned Benson

Now this is a great concept.

There are always two sides to a story, right? That couldn’t be more true than it is in relationships, especially when one ends. In this case, a couple experiences the worst tragedy imaginable: the death of their four month old son. The grief, as would be expected, changes them profoundly, and instead of the event bringing them together, it tears them apart.

The story is given the treatment of two full films, each from a different perspective. You get His and Her side of the story. You see their individual stories, struggles and growth. And, depending on the order that you watch, you may build sympathy for one and dislike the other, only to feel that tide turning when you watch the other. Your perspective shifts back to the middle, the murky area where the truth so often lies when it comes to who is “right” and “wrong” (even in a situation as dire as this, where blame feels natural but is entirely toxic).

One thing I found very interesting is that there are a few shared scenes between both films, and minor bits of dialogue play out differently. I don’t think these are editing flubs, but further representation of selective memory when dealing with a him vs her situation. Do you ever look back at a certain day, or event, or fight and swear that you said or did things a bit differently than your partner claims? It’s about perspective. These films set out to let the two leads find their own, and in turn, perhaps better understand each other’s.

Perspective is a tricky subject.

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