When Ned Benson showcased his two-part love story, “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him” and “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her,” back-to-back at the Toronto International Film Festival, his work was hailed as groundbreaking.
But then the Weinstein Co. and Benson decided to fuse the films together and offer an alternative single version, “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them.”
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Coombining the two might sound like cop-out, a timid backpedal away from the avant garde, but the first official trailer is actually stunning.
Fleeting moments between stars Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy are seen from two perspectives, putting a twist on oft-explored romantic tropes.
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“This is a story about a boy who loves a girl. And a girl who loves a boy,” reads the text superimposed over the trailer. “There are two sides to every love story.”
We see the way each lead interprets different moments within their relationship. There’s no reliable narrator in this trailer; it’s the multi-perspective experience of “Rashomon,” but with star-crossed lovers.
The trailer does not simply rely on footage from the “Them” version, but also incorporates scenes only seen in “Him” and “Her” — it is an introduction to the entire three-film saga, not just a single version.
“The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them” arrives in theaters Sept. 26, with the separate “Him” and “Her” versions to follow later in the fall.
TheWrap‘s Steve Pond saw the combined movie at Cannes and wrote that while “Them” is a beautiful and touching film, it is not as rich an experience as the original, separate versions.