Their Story [Joe Harvey, UK, 2019]
The truth is an odd concept when you think about it. We define the truth as fact, that what we're discussing has the quality of being genuine or factually accurate. It's fair to say that in recent times this hasn't always been the case. A particular perspective can distort what people see as the truth. Joe Harvey, writer and director of Their Story, explores the idea of 'truth' through an interconnecting dual narrative, which asks how the truth be interpreted.
Their Story revolves around a couple, Baz and Danielle, played by Anthony Vander and Jade Abode. Despite being engaged, Baz left Danielle five months ago. He reaches out to her, intending to explain why he disappeared. This is a beautiful and emotional look at a couple that is trying to repair their relationship.
The most engaging aspect of the film isn't the aforementioned couple working through a personal tragedy. It is the subplot in which the couple have been put on public display by a couple of vloggers, the most entertaining being the obnoxious yet hilarious social media star Syd, played phenomenally by Michael Douglas. Syd has begun stalking them so that he can record their conversation for his own salacious purposes. Douglas is delightfully brilliant; delivering his lines with impeccable comedic timing and is undoubtedly the highlight.
As Syd is watching from a distance, he misunderstands the meeting and jumps to his own conclusions, assuming that Baz has been cheating on Danielle and wants forgiveness. As he starts filming, a second vlogger called Sami begins to aggressively vent her frustration toward the couple.
Harvey certainly takes advantage of his available resources. As the film takes place in a single location, Harvey skilfully avoids blandness by filming scenes from different perspectives. The scenes with the couple are brightly lit conveying the actor's emotions, whereas Syd shoots the events on his phone, providing cheap, gritty, documentarian realism. This technique is perfect as it allows the audience to understand how Syd comes to his conclusion. It is evident that Syd is exaggerating the situation for the sake of comedy and popularity.
Their Story is a sophisticated and engaging comedy that presents us with an optimistic view of a fractured relationship, showing the audience that as long as two people love each other, they can work through anything. It then uniquely presents a cynical yet hilarious take on how influencers and the media can twist the truth to gain views.
‘Their Story’ was a film in consideration for Short Focus Film Festival 2020.