Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington, Eva Mendes and Guillaume Canet are in over their heads in Last Night, Massy Tadjedin’s look at the unvarnished truth about love. The unraveling of four people takes place in a single night, resulting in intense, unforgiving drama in the form of a claustrophobic chamber piece.
It’s alarming how easily a seemingly solid marriage is thrown off course by a third party, and then a fourth. The actors put in dynamic, brave performances, daring not to be liked when we put our faith in them and they betray us. Tadjedin builds the film to an excruciating climax.
Monsters and Critics spoke with Sam Worthington and Guillaume Canet and got some pretty surprising insights into marital infidelity.
AB – Guillaume, I did not much care for your character. Woody Allen said it best, “Men are dogs”. He plays the part, ruining a former lover’s marriage by pursuing her.
Guillaume Canet – I see what you mean, I understand that he comes back and he’s there, he comes back and brings this whole mess into her life, but she does the same thing. She came to Paris, she has an affair with him and she messed up his life.
I think it is something that is natural, which is even if you’re going to mess up his life; you can’t help having the feeling and maybe have the pretension to think that you can make her happy.
That maybe she is not that happy with her husband and maybe you can make her happy. I think we see that at the end when we see him at the airport with the picture. So I don’t think he is that bad.
Sam Worthington’s character is married to Keira Knightley’s and they have settled into a quiet domesticity. He admits this married man who allows himself to be seduced by a woman is pretty reprehensible.
Sam Worthington - My character is the least sympathetic. I wanted to be less sympathetic than I was in the film. He’s a complacent husband who is weak. When the carrot’s dangled in front of him, and he takes it. That’s how I look at it. Yes, but he was also complacent.
He comes home and the first thing he’s does when he gets home is he starts watching sports while his wife is making herself beautiful. He doesn’t notice her until four scenes in. To me that sums up his relationship. He cares about his wife in the way we all care about your partner when push comes to shove, when it’s a big too late.
And the thought is put into his head, he listens to this lonely woman’s story and he grabs her! To me out of all four characters, he is the least sympathetic. I didn’t really dig any of the four of them.”
AB - Do you think Last Night offers a fair view of love, if there can be such a thing?
SW - It’s obviously an extreme version of what can appear in people’s heads every day. We’ve each been one of those four people dealing with stuff at the time, whether you like yourself or not because of that, you can be in a relationship and look at someone and wonder if they’re boring or wonder what would happen when they go down that path.
This is the bit where they all put their foot to the throttle.
AB – And there is the time limitation to heighten the drama, just one night.
SW - Yes, it condensed to give it those stakes. If you pushed it over week, the stakes aren’t as high. It’s condensed into one night, its put under a microscope. It’s not reality based, I don’t consider it to be. It’s like chamber piece, a piece of music, rather than a picture or snapshot of someone’s life. It’s a piece of music.
AB - The film Closer goers over the same territory but its view of love is bitter. Last Night is not.
SW - I didn’t love that movie. It goes down different roads, a lot more shocking than this.
With a couple it should make your skin crawl, with a woman she touches her partners knee and goes I really hope that wasn’t you when I was away last week, so it’s close to the bone, Closer is a bit more out there, situations that not everyone could relate to, it’s not as accessible as this.
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