The movies that are remembered share one thing on common: they reach directly to the emotions of the viewer and forge a bond between film and moviegoer. This occurs regardless of whether the characters onscreen are sympathetic or not at all — that which drives the film touches on the human condition. This is certainly the case with The Two of Us, a French film celebrating its 50th anniversary.
The Two of Us has what seems at first glance a simple story: set during WWII, a jewish boy is sent away by his parents for safety and becomes a friend of an elderly French man whose attitude towards jews is that of the classic anti-Semite. Not knowing the boy is Jewish allows for a bond to be formed, amidst situations most dire — being Nazi occupied France — which change both of their behaviors over time.
It is the interaction that is at the heart of the story and which creates the emotional bond between that playing out onscreen and those watching. In the way that the film presents itself, watching with others in a theater definitely creates a great collective experience, as viewers feel and feed off of others watching. But unlike some films (comedies for example), it does not hurt one iota to have an audience of one.
The film is presented in Blu-ray high-definition, having been remastered in 4K definition for a highly detailed rendering. Being black and white, on eight say that resolution doesn’t matter in this day of color, but the opposite is true. Besides being more “timeless”, black and white can provide great detail and a high level of variance in the light intensity and the shades of gray being viewed.
Providing the resolution is there to highlight all of this. Which is definitely the case here — with a picture not merely mimicking the movie theater experience, but actually surpassing it when compared to the versions showed in theaters throughout the years. Audio, no less important, is also unaffected by not being stereo — the digital monophonic soundtrack is as compelling as it always is, with the French being supplemented by English subtitles which are easy to read.
The Two of Us is certainly moving and certainly sentimental in nature, but there’s no harm or insult in that. In these days of the Superhero and Sci-Fi movie extravaganzas, it helps to step back and return to the human condition.