Today: February 22, 2024

His and Hers

It’s a common belief that the happenings of everyday life can at
times be funnier than anything ever scripted. Sometimes it’s
intentional, sometimes it’s something other people wouldn’t even notice,
and it’s these moments that have the larger affects on us as spectators
of reality.

Short film director Ken Wardrop has clearly had a fair insight
into the funnier side of living as he makes his feature length debut
with His and Hers, a document starring no fewer than 70 Irish girls,
teenagers and women as they talk about the men in their lives. A bittersweet documentation of the various stages of growing up,
His and Hers takes you to the very start, literally, as a curious baby
is plopped into the opening shot to stare out at the screen with awe.

From here Wardrop quite expertly paces us through the various stages
of a woman’s life and how male influence takes its toll, starting with
their daddies, then boyfriends, fiancés, husbands and sons. A blissfully ordinary catalogue of accounts,
His and Hers dwells briefly on each generation taking a select few
accounts on what the men in these women’s lives mean to them now, in
their future and/or in their past. The younger girls submit complaints
of being asked to tidy their rooms by their fathers and various accounts
of discipline, at this stage unaware of the protection and well being
their dad’s have in mind. Then come the teenagers, clicking away on
mobiles with tales of discos and “he said, but then I was like, and he
was like”s. Slowly we move onto the more serious stuff; relationships,
first homes, children. And then sons. And then the stories of love lost,
both painful and beautiful to watch as one woman talks quietly of her
husband dying in her arms.

The women Wardrop selects are in no way glamorous or done up for the
occasion but the sort of woman you would pass in the supermarket,
perhaps live next door to. With each their stories flow organically and
without discomfort, a clear example of the director’s expert interviewing technique.
For a feature composed mainly of face on interviews juxtaposed
occasionally against sequences of everyday household tasks and
activities it is beautifully framed and makes use of this suburban back
drop to compliment the tones of the conversation. And the content
itself, as previously mentioned is irreplaceable. There’s something
about the Irish accent that is effortlessly funny in its timing, and
Wardrop has emphasised this fantastically through the editing of each
interview. The recalling of sometimes everyday events is charming and
there’s often a scenario that you can relate to at some point in the
film. Every account of a husband, father or son is given affectionately
without being corny; there’s no Hallmark sugarcoating just the sort of
earnest love that occurs in the real world and is all the more effective
than anything written by Richard Curtis or exploited by Katherine

Murmurs of another film with the male perspective of the women in
their life being made by Wardrop will hopefully be welcomed with as much
praise. This is certainly a new and unfaltering take on the humble
profiles of family boys and men shown at their best through the eyes of
their family.

Beth Webb - Events Editor

I aim to bring you a round up of the best film events in the UK, no matter where you are or what your preference. For live coverage of events across London, follow @FilmJuice

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