Movie Review: 6 Years (2015)
6 Years (2015)
Director: Hannah Fidell
Cast: Taissa Farmiga, Ben Rosenfield, Lindsay Burdge
Synopsis: A young couple bound by a seemingly ideal love, begins to unravel as unexpected opportunities spin them down a volatile and violent path and threaten the future they had always imagined.
WARNING! This review contains SPOILERS!
It’s difficult to see writer/director Hannah Fidell’s purpose in making 6 Years, a study of how quickly a young couple’s six-year relationship crumbles when the demands and opportunities of the adult world begin encroaching upon their previously cocoon-like existence. The external pressures to break up might be out of the ordinary – usually its disapproving parents to blame – but otherwise there’s little that is new or surprising in 6 Years. The way that everyone in the picture professes amazement at the length of Mel (Taissa Farmiga) and Dan’s (Ben Rosenfield) relationship succinctly sums the maturity levels of most of its characters. Because, let’s face it, true grown-ups don’t view a six-year relationship as something out of the ordinary – it might be a little unusual for young adults to have been together that long, but surely a better movie would have shown how a young couple resist, rather than succumb to, the temptations placed before them by so-called friends.
To be honest, from what we see of Dan and Mel’s relationship, it’s something of a miracle that they’ve stuck together so long. He’s fairly self-centred beneath the curly-haired boy-next-door exterior, and she has a tendency to lash out physically when upset or angered, and both of them use alcohol as both a crutch and an excuse for their behaviour. An opening montage shows us how happy they were before the trappings of adult life intruded on their idyllic existence, and it’s not long before Dan ends up at A&E after they fight over Mel’s drinking and driving. But Dan’s soon forsakes the moral high ground when he begins flirting with Amanda (Lindsay Burdge), a work colleague who’s clearly interested in him – and not particularly concerned by the fact that he’s already taken.
6 Years is a very slight (and short) movie which at least manages to squeeze in a couple of charming scenes between all those fights and the build up to them, and Fidell shows admirable restraint by underplaying the seriousness of Mel’s physical abuse of Dan. Farmiga (the younger – much younger – sister of Vera Farmiga) and Rosenfield make a sweet couple when they’re not rowing, and although they’re both convincing in their roles, it’s Farmiga’s performance that lingers in the mind. Burdge provides a suitably alluring diversion as Dan’s workplace temptress, but to be honest she looks a little too sophisticated to be dallying with a kid like Rosenfield, and completes a triumvirate of unlikable characters with whom most members of the audience will find it impossible to identify.
(Reviewed 12th October 2015)