When it comes to independent films, there are many reasons for why they either deserve to be left as an independent feature or sadly not treated as well as it should be. Smaller films are released, make it into a few festivals, and even if they have big name talent attached, still fail miserably as a film. On the other hand, fantastic films by unknown directors (on a global scale) can shop themselves around festival circuits and find a place in hardcore film fans hearts. Till We Meet Again is the prime example of that notion. This is the type of film that will be overlooked come Oscar season, but will receive tons of recognition in the underground market. Some pictures are best left there, but not this film. Although it is not perfect, Till We Meet Again is one of my favourite viewing experiences of 2016. Let me explain why this film needs to be seen.
The Unique Storytelling
If it is one thing that independent films go for, it's the care-free nature of their content. If the filmmakers choose to shoot a film a certain way, they do not have studio executives screaming down their throats, telling them to change anything. This works wonders for Till We Meet Again. From the opening shot, I knew this film was going to be handled with care. Following Erik and Joanna after separating in Thailand in order to find themselves, the film cuts back and forth between the two leads, building on whether or not they are meant to be together. Flashing back to the past when they were their happiest selves, Till We Meet Again showcases the range of these actors in a way that most big budget films never take the time to do. Although it is told through a unique narrative, the film would not have been great without fleshed out characters and well-written dialogue by John Matton.
Casting The Right Talent
In a story that relies heavily on its characters, you need to be able to choose the right actors to get your audience invested. Not only did this film invest me in every single character on screen, but I believed almost everything they were saying, due to the natural flow and realism. Director Bank Tangjaitrong definitely displays his talent in being able to get the best performances out of his actors. His way of having everyone talk naturally, while keeping the tone of the film very calm with a slight score jumping in and out, was a very relaxing experience. If you are able to capture a tone that seems dull on the surface at the beginning of the film, only to reveal that it is actually quite exciting in the context of the film, then you should be deserving of a pat on the back.
For what this film sets out to accomplish, I believe it is a near perfect picture. That being said, there are a few moments in the second act of this film that left me puzzled. I found myself scratching my head at why Joanna wouldn't just give the address she was staying at, rather than make Erik find her. There are a few instances where their motivations/actions don't quite mesh with their characters as a whole, but these are minor complaints. Aside from a few minor hiccups, Till We Meet Again is a terrific film all around, and even though it is a severely independent film compared to what most mainstream audiences are looking for, I don't believe they will be disappointed if they came across this little gem.
My Overall Thoughts
From a well-told premise, to a wonderful cast, to a very subtle and sincere score by Dexter Britain, this is a film fans dream movie. For what this film is trying to display, I truly do not believe (given the budget restraints) that this film could have been pulled off any better than it was. Till We Meet Again is a gem of a film and one of my favourite experiences watching a movie this year. It tells a great lesson that sometimes in order to go back to your old life, you just have to explore yourself in ways that you never have before. Sometimes giving up everything can be the perfect thing to do. I loved every second of this film and due to the fact that the dialogue felt so raw, its run time flies by. If you happen to be in a relaxing mood, this is the perfect little film to make you smile or even cry. Till We Meet Again is fantastic!
Check out the trailer: