In searching for interesting shorts, I came across “No More We (Vi Finns Inte Längre)” – the initial short that was recently developed into the feature film “Are We Lost Forever”. Both under the direction and writing of David Färdmar, I will admit that my review of the short is already skewed by my review of the feature film. (You can check that review out HERE!) Let’s see how they compared, shall we?
Synopsis of “No More We”
Adrian (Björn Elgerd) awakes in bed after a night terror, looking at the missing half bed beside him he mutters, “I shouldn’t have asked.” Skipping back a few days, Adrian is listening to his headphones on the bed when Hampus (Jonathan Andersson) tentatively enters the room. Nearly everything of his has been moved out, but Hampus wants his half of the bed. But Adrian doesn’t want to give it up, even pointing out that they bought it together. It quickly becomes clear that Adrian dominates the relationship, perhaps a bit too much? However, Hampus insists that he wants his half of the bed (and given the scene just before, we know that Adrian finally ceded). Skipping again, it’s night and Adrian is having a panic attack.
As if we’re moving back in time from the end, our next scene puts Adrian and Hampus having an discussion of the end of their relationship. While they gloss over the specifics, it’s clear that Hampus wants out of the relationship & engagement – but Adrian is either utterly shocked or not surprised at this outcome. It also unfolds that this isn’t the first time they’ve broken up. Eventually, Hampus says he’s moving into his own place because their friends are moving in together. Yet there’s still a love and tenderness between the two, as they start to make out towards the end of this discussion. But Hampus puts an end to it by pulling away. On a different day, uncertain if it’s the following morning or beforehand, Adrian has prepared breakfast for Hampus but waiting because Hampus is still in bed, cuddling up to Adrian’s pillow. Skipping to a different time, Adrian is in his tighty-whities, puking in the bathroom. But it then cuts to the two boys sleeping in the same bed again.
Our next scene has Adrian and Hampus eating pizza in their kitchen – nearly in silence. It’s an awkward tension between them. Almost as if to pinpoint in on their issues, the next scene (whenever it takes place) shows Adrian crying to himself in the walk-in closet. Hampus knocks on the door to tell him that he’s off to work, and that they can talk later that night. The short’s final scene full reveals the reason for all the awkward tension – the actual breakup itself. While they both stare off into the distance, Hampus tells Adrian that there is no more we; it’s over.
Before I dive in too deep, I need to comment on the fact that “No More We” is the short film upon which “Are We Lost Forever” was built – literally! Nearly every scene in this short film was reused when David Färdmar adapted his short into the feature film. But there’s one twist: the story in “No More We” starts from the end and works backward in time, finishing with the actual breakup between Adrian and Hampus. While I don’t mind this reverse storytelling angle, the trouble I have with “No More We” is that we have absolutely no idea that that’s what is going on. It’s hard to decipher if the individual scenes are flashbacks, taking place the day before – or the day after, etc; we don’t have anything concrete to tie the timeline down and end up becoming confused. (Thankfully, they resolved a good bit of this issue in “Are We Lost Forever”).
Our two actors are the same for both this short film and “Are We Lost Forever” – and unfortunately, I have the same issue with both. I cannot tell if they were doing their best to act out a poorly written script, lacked adequate direction, or simply aren’t the strongest actors. They weren’t captivating – and I got bored. Cinematographically, I feel that “No More We” is actually a tad worse. The same shaky camerawork lingers, though understandable given that they used the same footage for both films. However, the copy of the short film that I watched had a warmer hue to the scenes, as if they were able to do better post-production editing with “Are We Lost Forever” to clean it up; it’s not a major issue in the grand scheme of things but it was quite noticeable because the start whiteness of their bedroom wasn’t as sharp. Overall, it isn’t horrible – but very little stands out in “No More We”. I was still left with questions and wanting more, though not in the good way.
While I still am quite intrigued by the premise of the story, it just simply isn’t handled well. In fact, I’m actually a bit surprised that they were able to take this short and turn it into a feature film! There are pacing issues, an inconsistent timeline that jumps all over the place, and it’s just boring. Thankfully, some of these issues were improved upon when the turned “No More We” into “Are We Lost Forever”, but unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for me to like either very well. But don’t take my word, give it a watch yourself and let me know what you think!
Queer Relevance of “No More We”
With our two leads being in a gay relationship, “No More We” is certainly a queer film. But unfortunately there isn’t much more beyond that. Sure it’s enough, but there’s little this film brings to the queer film oeuvre.