FILM

I Think We’re Alone Now
By Matt Davis With on February 11, 2018

“It is not good for man to be alone.” This is the premise and theme that Reed Morano’s film I Think We’re Alone Now explores. After an unexplained catastrophic event kills the entire human race Del, played by Peter Dinklage, finds himself to be that last man on planet earth…literally. Rather than panic, or descend into madness, Del embraces solitude choosing to remain in the small town in which he lived. Each day he sets about burying the bodies of the townspeople and cleaning their homes in an attempt to create and maintain a sense of order amidst the desolation. He is quite content with the life and world he creates for himself savoring it much as he does the wine he sips while immersed in the books of the library he has made his home. When a teenage girl named Grace appears in town one night, Del finds his solitary utopia infringed upon. He allows her to stay, slowly and begrudgingly giving her access into his life. At one point, amidst her teenage giddiness and whimsy, she questions why he never left, why he never sought to search for others. Wasn’t he lonely? she asks. He responds by saying that he had been just as lonely living in the town of 16,000 people before the event. Slowly, Grace’s presence draws Del out of himself giving him a sense of community and relationship that he had never before experienced. Dinklage gives an incredible performance primarily through his ability to convey and express so much though his eyes. In them we see not just the resiliency and self-reliance of his reclusive character, but also the woundedness of a man who was largely rejected and left to live alone behind the walls of self-preservation he erected in order to cope. The film’s score and intentional use of of light and color are quite stunning. The cinematography of the town is muted and understated. Like the corpses Del finds and buries, the town itself seems withered and greyed. It is only Grace that provides punches of color as she is often clothed in bright sunflower yellow. Yet it is there that life seems to slowly emerge for Del, much like the first shoots of spring amidst the winter thaw. The final scene (the context of which I will not spoil) stands in stark contrast. The colors are bright with splashes of vibrant pinks, blues, reds, greens, and oranges set against the crisp white of stylized modern architecture. It is a beautiful oasis of utopian perfection glimmering even in a ravaged world. Yet, it is a lobotomized reality, a non-community from which Del and Grace flee intent on returning home to the unadorned existence they created with and for each other. The juxtaposition of the two—the muted, unspectacular, but deeply alive versus the bold, bright, and shallow— lead the viewer to contemplate one’s own understanding and practice of relationship and community. In a digital aged marked by endemic loneliness have we come to only know one another through the enhanced and curated images we share on social media, or can we find the courage to be present and live fully before the Lord and each other in the dirt and discomfort of reality?

About the Author: Matt Davis

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