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Opening Date
11 Jan 2018
R21 Sexual Scenes
118 mins
English - subtitles to be advised
Drama, Romance
Drake Doremus
Nicholas Hoult, Laia Costa, Danny Huston
In contemporary Los Angeles, Martin and Gabi, two unacquainted millennials, spend their weekends as so many of their generation do… “swiping” on the dating app WINX. The options are endless, but tend to be less about connection and more about hooking- up. When Martin and Gabi meet, however, they find themselves talking into the early hours of the morning. Connecting. It’s exciting. It’s new... Exhilarated by each other, they rush into a relationship; hoping to perpetuate the feeling of that first night. They go out on dates. They move in together. They skip work to make love... But is this love?
By Razi  12 Jan 2018
What we have here is a thorough exploration of modern dating’s woes with a couple categorically unprepared for it.
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Love in the digital age is hard. As it turns out, so is making a compelling movie about it.

Drake Doremus, director of Like Crazy and the futuristic Equals (partially shot in Singapore) is an indie darling who brings us a balance of these worlds in Newness. Set in present times, Winx is the name of a Tinder-like app that dominates the sexually-charged lives of our protagonists, Martin (Nicholas Hoult) and Gabi (Laia Costa).

Being apparent all-star users of the app, their lifestyle seems to involve copious amounts of one night stands with other attractive people... until they meet each other. That’s when the ugliness beneath the surface begins to well, surface. And that’s about as important as the app is to the story. Cue the rest of the film that slowly delves into their pasts and inability to overcome it, but not before introducing the further distraction of an open relationship that sets the stage for more arguments and tension that honestly, you won’t care about unless you’re a fan of the actors or in a uniquely hairy situation as they are in. Doremus is no doubt a talented director, but here he is afflicted with a weak screenplay and a character- driven story without likeable characters.

There is no shortage of production quality with silky cinematography (bar the opening 15 minutes of Vertigo-inducing camera shake, particularly in handheld tracking shots), editing (bar the ridiculously slow pacing in an increasingly ADHD-ridden world), music and sound design (bar the fact you probably won’t remember it by the time you watch your next show) and talented performances (bar the callously contrived characters they play).

What we have here is a thorough exploration of modern dating’s woes with a couple categorically unprepared for it. Do they deserve a happy ending? You’ll find out in cinemas this new year.
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