Tribeca Review: “Permission” (2017) ★★★★★

After the first ten minutes of PERMISSION, I wanted only one thing to happen – the logical ending, in my opinion or based on my brief analysis, I expected it to have. When I finally got what I wanted, I was not sure whether to be happy about it or upset. Having said that, it’s not a bad sign at all, it just reminds that the heart is the only thing you can’t mess with. Once you do that, it will get more sensitive… get used to what it did not get before… and when it happens, wait for implications in a way you or a love you have can’t even fix the damage it may bring…

William, played by Dan Stevens and Anna portrayed by Rebecca Hall have been together for quite a long time, so long that their feelings towards each other became rather habitual. Anna is turning forty-years-old,  and William gets ready to propose her. But during a birthday lunch, their, I should say, adorable gay friends Hay and Reece (but rather it was Reece) suggests something unusual – that Anna should date other men before spending the rest of her life with her boyfriend… At first, but only for seconds, it appears that, Anna did not really pay attention to what her friend said- but the facial expression she had stated otherwise…

Anna used to play the piano. She loves her life and agrees on a polygamous relationship after discussing it with William. Will also seems to not mind and allows his girlfriend to embark herself in another relationship with a man whose romantic nature, musical skills and breakfast in bed turns her into a new self, a self she starts liking more than before… William also starts dating one of his clients, a divorcee woman, Lydia (Gina Gershon), who tries to unlock in William a man, or a lover he always wanted to be. Pretty much she is able to do that, but the result won’t appear as charming as the one you will find with Anna and Dane (François Arnaud).

As you watch the film, you find both Anna and William giving each other permission to explore each other”s unknown parts, hoping it will deepen their relationship. So it does, but not in the way both expected. William once says Anna that he does not know who is he when he is not with her. But the problem is, without William, during her open relationship with Dane, Anna exactly knew who she was – and that was the most scary part. PERMISSION, however, evolves not only around Wiliam and Anna, as Hay and Reece are having their own challenges as both try to find the reason to strengthen their relationship. Hay believes that by adopting a child it will help their family to grow. And when Hay meets Glenn (Jason Sudeikis) in the park who nurses a baby, he also realizes his own future that he hardly will change his mind.

The concept of PERMISSION is wonderful. It begins like a comedy, turns into a romantic film, and in the end it was only drama. It has a mix of three genres while it explores a realistic relationship between a couple who one day can bore each other to death. William and Anna are such rich and honest characters, you are simply stunned by their honesty. But no matter how good they are together, you see that there is a spark missing in their relationship and William, who quickly loses the priority status in Anna’s life with the appearance of Dane, whose relationship William himself blessed.

PERMISSION written by Brian Crana is intelligent, beautifully written, and at some points a very sad movie to watch. It explores a reflection of unsuccessful relationship that could have been lasted longer if not for curiosity. Oh yes, they both were open to have a relationship with anyone who they find suitable, they gladly shared their intimate experience… But as they are sharing, there is also a dark shadow of doubt that was growing I wish William and Anna were wise enough to recognize.

In the end, Crana’s movie is one of those films that should not be missed. Their is a life lesson provided. It shows what will happen if you play with fire, but in the case of this movie, with feelings and freedom. It shows that each man is different, each woman delivers a different type of relationship. It’s about stopping when it’s not too late. But what you will like most about this movie is that it’s never been about perfection. It was about almost like a real couple that uses laundromat have uneventful evenings until when the idea of permission comes to their mind… And that was the most dangerous decision they made yet, I am afraid is due to be found out….


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