I could never quite tell, from its opening moments, whether His & Hers was a film trying to be a documentary, or alternatively a documentary trying to be a film. Nevertheless it turned out to be a refreshing and delightfully sincere prospect. Irish born director, Ken Wardrop charts the lives of a selection of different women from all age groups, documenting their relationships towards the males in their lives, progressing attitudes towards life and the trials and tribulations which come with both.
Some might argue you have to be Irish to really get the knowingness of the whole affair, but a lot of what the director is trying to get across should hit home with all audiences. From the earliest moment of the film, seeing this bouncing baby laughing uncontrollably, without a care in the world, to the final moments of an old married couple minding their own business, there's forever a warm air of familiarity to the whole thing.
What Wardrop does beautifully is the subtle examination of these women's attitudes towards the evolving relationships they have with men through their lives. It all begins with a playful devotion to their daddys and slight frustration towards their brothers. As they get into adolescence and idle curiosity gets the better of them, a game of cat and mouse ensues with boys of a similar age evolving into long term relationships. From here a dynamic with a husbandly figure is created and the life long and unrivalled love for their children grows and changes as the years go by. The whole film is done in such a way that keeps you interested during its entire duration.
Technically it was a tidy, visually sweet little film. I loved the whole voyeuristic nature of the scenes away from the interviews, very much in keeping with the nature of its genre, the best part however was in this beautiful, vibrant, musical theme by Denis Clohessy played throughout the transitions. Though this sounds like damning with faint praise, the director timed the length of the film perfectly, as any longer it may have started to bore the audience a bit.
That's not to say it was the best film I've ever seen, because it simply wasn't. Though heart-warming and had the ability to raise a smile once or thrice, it was a little too sporadic at times and never gave you a chance to feel for the people towards the end of the film when the harsher truths start to surface.
His & Hers is an affectionately sweet documentary, charting the lives of women and the relationships they acquire over the course of a multitude of years. It'll warm your heart and hit home on many occasions, even if at times it's slightly too ambiguous and erratic in its interviews, for its own good. A very natural, very honest and very knowing example of Irish film-making. More please.
His and Hers is showing in selected cinemas throughout the UK now.