Billed only as “She” and “He”, Meri Koivisto (making foreign film much more attractive not only for the different viewpoints) and Ronny Korneli play the most talkative couple on a first date that you’ll ever encounter in film. Where us Americans are content to use first dates as grounds for comedic performances, sometimes funny or downright embarrassing, filmmaker Michael Ruf considers something else. He wonders how we operate on first dates, how we act, how we talk, how we might be navigating to get what we want or get out of the date completely. He does it with such a creative flourish that makes it an original.
Hers and his’ mutual language is German. They talk about this and that, about attending classes, being busy with work, but she has a better idea. If they speak in their mother tongues, they will be more free to speak what they think, even though they won’t understand each other. Keep up here because this is outstanding. In Finnish, she comments favorably about his eyes. He, speaking Norwegian, talks about how he dreams often about her breasts. It’s not as shallow as that as they get further and further into it. When she finishes her “beautiful eyes” comment, he asks her what she said and she covers it up as, “I like Christmas”. Later, she loves the way he talks and says in her tongue that, “I could get accustomed to this melody.” “Big Freedom” questions our freedoms when it comes to relationships in how honest we can be in the same language and how honest we should consider being. Amidst a red background, making these two stand out more, this is a perfect treatise on not only what the dating world entails, but what human communication involves. It’s not only going out on dates, but also communication with family members, co-workers, and all other life forms, breathing or otherwise that we encounter on a daily basis. How honest or hidden do we prefer to act? These two might very well get together. But the question remains as to whether they’ll transition back into a mutual language to reveal their feelings. Or not. Dating’s strange like that.