Marija Kavtaradze‘s second feature film, tells the story of two people falling in love in their own way.
When dancer Elena (Greta Grinevičiūtė) meets sign language interpreter Dovydas (Kęstutis Cicėnas), these two very different individuals instantly connect in an unspoken manner. The invisible sparks tighten the air between them, inevitably pulling these two opposites towards each other. When things start to get more physical, Dovydas mentions he’s asexual. They’re both eager to make this relationship work, going up against gender stereotypes and what it actually means to be in love.
Kavtaradze has written a love story so delicate, it instantly becomes a straight up classic. The way she has layered both leads in their own distinct ways, is done by meticulous research into asexuality and respect towards non-conforming relationships. Just because two people don’t follow what’s considered “normal” by societal rules, doesn’t mean it’s weird. This doesn’t come without its hurdles, but doesn’t a heteronormative relationship come with those too?
Grinevičiūtė and Cicėnas’ undeniable chemistry works a charm. It instantly pulls you in, taking you onto a journey into their on screen romance. Both actors easily bounce off each other, complimenting their characters’ differences and also showcasing their strengths as dramatic actors. Grinevičiūtė, also a very talented dancer, is able to use music and dance in a way that completes Elena with what she misses in her relationship. The intimacy between the two is present, but unlike Dovydas, who’s used to not act on physical interactions, Elena finds solace in her dance which also becomes a connecting factor between the two lovers.
The striking cinematography and powerful soundtrack complete an already strong film into a complete win for Lithuanian cinema. Slow isn’t your ordinary dime a dozen romantic drama, but stands out above and beyond to make a difference in a subgenre that’s been hungry for a resurgence. 2021’s The Worst Person in the World and Slow would make for a perfect double bill.
Reviewed online (screener provided by publicist – also screening at Sundance 2023), December 21, 2022. Running time: 107 min.
PRODUCTION: An M-Films, Frida Films, Garagefilm International & Film Stockholm production. Producer: Marija Razgute.
CREW: Director/writer: Marija Kavtaradze. Cinematography: Laurynas Bareiša. Editing: Sylvia Vilkaitė. Music: Irya Gmeyner, Martin Hederos & Vincent Barrière.
CAST: Greta Grinevičiūtė, Kęstutis Cicėnas.