Not only is John’s marriage to Emily on the verge of breaking down, but he has also received news that he has terminal cancer in the independent feature Twin Cities. Check out our review.
Written and directed by Dave Ash, Twin Cities is his third feature after Love: A Documentary and 2021. Although I haven’t had the pleasure of viewing his earlier efforts, it seems that Twin Cities is a follow-up of sorts to 2021, with the main two characters played by the same actors featuring in both movies.
Twin Cities tells the story of how John (Clarence Wethern) and Emily (Bethany Ford) are heading towards a matrimonial disaster. They barely say two words to each other and sometimes only communicate via Post-it notes. Heavily pregnant, Emily is an author who is having trouble with her second novel – a follow-up to her first successful book. She needs support and encouragement, but she is not receiving it from the one person who should be helpful – John.
Just when Emily is about to end her marriage, John receives some bad news from the hospital; he has cancer and will need to undergo a series of chemotherapy. This devastating news has a unique effect on John. Instead of being sad and downhearted, he sees it as a chance to make amends – to fix his marriage and spend time doing the things he wants to do.
All of this leads up to one of the most leftfield twists I have ever witnessed. It totally took me by surprise – I was not expecting it at all, even though, in hindsight, there were little clues dotted about. Dave Ash pulled an M. Night Shyamalan. The twist was great, but my only issue is, that it came at the end of act two and not the third act. After being shocked and surprised, the film continued for another good twenty odd minutes.
Whilst the twist was great (yes I know, I should stop mentioning that there is a twist), what really impressed me about Dave Ash’s work was his way of handling dialogue. It never felt forced and it was filled with some refreshing realism.
On the technical side, Twin Cities is very well made. The film looks great throughout, especially the poem reciting scene which is beautifully lit with great camera work. The audio is also crisp and faultless.
I have to say, I also enjoyed Clarence Wethern and Bethany Ford’s performances. They portrayed a struggling couple with great effect. In fact, there was no weak efforts from the whole cast, no matter how big or small their roles were.
To close, I thoroughly enjoyed Twin Cities. It was a smart look at relationships and mortality with a shocking twist (oops, I mentioned that twist again).