Cole Clay // Film Critic
Most people can look back at their first love and reflect on regrets, happy times, and fits of miserable angst that sticks with us possibly for a lifetime. That’s what the SXSW film 6 YEARS delves into on all those emotional levels, and it does so with an authentic ease that is filled with stripped down dramatic tension.
Dan (Ben Rosenfield) and Mel (Taissa Farmiga) are both college students, a senior and a junior respectively, who have been together for, yep, you guessed it, 6 years. They have a passion for each other that’s unbridled by the stresses of the outside world. While he’s interning at a hip indie record label in Austin Mel’s partying habits, things are getting pretty out of hand. She’s not doing anything that most college students aren’t familiar with every Thursday-Sunday, but Dan starts drawing lines in the sand and moves on with the next chapter of his life.
The whole aesthetic of the film directed by filmmaker Hannah Fiddell starts off a little grating with the hip tunes and the hazy filters, but Fiddell has a vision for Dan and Mel that hits a little too close to home at times. And the hipper-than-thou tone that once bogged down the film becomes integral to the story.
Fiddel portrays the anxiety that comes with growing apart from a significant other with traumatic results that never go down like the Ike & Tina saga, but still leave a lasting impression.
6 YEARS has the skill to make the melodrama work in favor of the story by capitalizing on the bare bones approach to the failing relationship. Ripping the band-aid is always the hardest thing to do, and 6 YEARS shows what happens when two well-intentioned lovers begin to fester.
6 YEARS premieres on iTunes and VOD today.