In Andrew Haigh’s poignant drama “All of Us Strangers” Andrew Scott portrays Adam a writer grappling with the weight of his parents’ absence a loss that occurred when he was merely 12 years old. The tragedy of losing one’s parents at such a young age isn’t something that easily fades away. The film introduces Adam at a significant juncture where he not only contemplates his deceased parents but also imaginatively visits them in his childhood home amidst the holiday preparations for Christmas. This poignant reunion with his past amplifies the emotional gravity of the narrative, delving deeper into the profound sorrow Adam continues to endure.
‘All of Us Strangers’ review: A Heart Longing for the Unattainable
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The urban apartment life especially in soundproof buildings can feel incredibly isolating akin to a lonely suburban existence that filmmakers often find captivating. In “All of Us Strangers,” Andrew Scott’s character Adam inhabits a sky-high flat on the outskirts of London, symbolizing his detachment from the bustling city, much like his lifelong feeling of being apart from everything. His solitude seems like a secure position as he peers out almost as if he prefers being an outsider.
Directed by Andrew Haigh and loosely based on Taichi Yamada’s “Strangers” the film reshapes the narrative, focusing on the intimate emotional world of queer men. Haigh takes his time to unravel the story, leaving viewers initially questioning the nature of the film. Yet, as Adam encounters Harry (played by Paul Mescal), the dynamics shift and Adam’s life gains new dimensions, exploring love and breaking the barriers he’s built around himself.
Haigh’s film is a blend of dream-like sequences, where time twists and reality morphs into something profoundly emotional. While the concept is challenging to execute without veering into sentimentality, Scott’s performance anchors the film. His portrayal of Adam a man scarred by his past and yearning for connection is nuanced and deeply felt, capturing repressed pain without becoming a stereotype.
The film acts as a prism reflecting the manifestations of loneliness across various facets of Adam’s life—physical, emotional, mental and artistic. It delves into the untaken paths and missed opportunities, particularly the unspoken conversations Adam wished he had with his deceased parents. This exploration of longing, regret and the haunting presence of what could have been, resonates deeply with anyone who has experienced sudden loss or unresolved sentiments towards departed loved ones.
The movie beautifully encapsulates the sensation of feeling like a stranger within one’s own family or even within oneself, highlighting the commonality of this sentiment. It acknowledges the human quest to navigate the unfamiliar and move towards a sense of belonging—a journey echoed in the lives of many seeking familiarity amidst the inherent strangeness of existence.
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