Slow review – terrific Lithuanian drama of an atypical romance

Two people can be seemingly made for each other and still find themselves out of kilter in a relationship. The attraction between dancer Elena (Greta Grinevičiūte) and sign language interpreter Dovydas (Kęstutis Cicėnas) is immediate. Elena is sensual and physically expressive, both professionally and in her many relationships. Dovydas, meanwhile, is asexual. But the fact that he doesn’t need or even want to have sex with Elena doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to be in a relationship with her.

It takes a bit of getting used to, but for a while it seems that love might conquer all, even the fundamental differences in their needs. Tensions between them are evocatively captured in this Lithuanian drama: an awkward, uneasy coupling between the pair is kept in a restrained mid shot, but the sequence that follows, showing Elena dancing with two colleagues, is filmed so intimately in closeup that the sweat and skin almost becomes abstract. The second feature film from director Marija Kavtaradze (Summer Survivors), Slow is terrific – an honest and affecting portrait of an atypical romance.


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