There are those of us who enjoy the loud life, parties, groups of people, company, noise, the buzz. On the other hand, there are those of us that enjoy solitude and quiet. Del, Peter Dinklage (“Game Of Thrones (TV)”, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri“), is definitely in the latter camp.
After an unknown event has wiped out most of humanity, Dell finds himself all alone in what was already a sleepy town (population 1,600), by a lake somewhere in the US. This suits Del fine.
He wilds away his days living in the local library, sorting the books, going from house to house in the town pinching batteries, burying the dead and cleaning up. Bringing some order to the chaos.
All is well in Del town, that is until Grace, Elle Fanning (“Trumbo“, “Super 8”), turns up in a blur of alcohol and car crashes.
She doesn’t exactly turn Del’s world upside down, that comes later, but she does interrupt it, constantly asking questions and insisting on hanging around when Del would prefer she just left.
What really shakes things up though, is when Grace’s ‘parents’ show up; Patrick, Paul Giamatti (“Sideways”, “12 Years A Slave”), and Violet, Charlotte Gainsbourg (“Dark Crimes“, “Nymphomaniac”). To say they’re odd is an understatement, but when they tell Del that he’s far from the last man on Earth he believed, things really go south.
I Think We’re Alone Now takes a very different view on the apocalypse, it’s more The Last Man On Earth, but without the comedy, for I Think We’re Alone Now is tonally very deep, very purposeful.
Director Reed Morano (“The Handmaid’s Tale (TV)”, “Billions (TV)”) has a very distinct style; choosing to draw out scenes, labouring points and taking things generally easy.
Paired with Mike Makowsky’s (“Take Me”, “Daytona (Short)”) script, means I Think We’re Alone Now feels a lot longer than the one hour 33 minutes run-time it has.
But pacing isn’t the only issue in this world unfortunately, there’s also the issue of focus, or lack of. It’s difficult to know exactly what Makowsky is trying to say, the movie ambles between solitude, friendship, the need to explore and then, suddenly, mind control. The latter coming like a curveball from your favourite pitcher but landing as if that was what it was always about: didn’t you see? Silly you!
Despite these problems, both Dinklage and Fanning are eminently watchable, Dinklage in particular is meant for this hermit-esq role. His gruff goatee and scruffy hair work with his hunched shoulders and dour persona, he hits the mark as a man who would much prefer to be alone.
Fanning, in contrast, bursts into proceedings in an assault of colours (her clothes) and spoken word (questions), the latter of which is lacking in the first third of the picture, which is only right, whose he going to speak to?
Both Giamatti and Gainsbourg are underused and not in the movie for very long anyway, both do well in their respective roles though Giamatti is unusually not as menacing as usual, when he needs to be.
I Think We’re Alone Now is a slow-burn but beautifully shot piece of work. Yes, it has its flaws but, at its heart, is a wonderful story about an unlikely coming together of solitude and company.