Director: Raine Allen Miller | Script:Nathan Bryon, Tom Melia | Cast: David Jonsson (Dom), Vivian Oparah (Yas), Benjamin Sarpong-Broni (Eric), Karene Peter (Gia), Simon Manyonda (Nathan), ea | Time to play: 82 minutes | Year: 2023
From the very first scene, the style is splashing. rye lane muted, with bold and colorful shots. First-time director Raine Allen-Miller is not lacking in self-confidence. This own style emerges especially in the flashbacks, which therefore acquire an almost theatrical character. Dom and Yas also actively star in flashbacks and continue their conversation in the present. It gives these scenes a playful atmosphere that characterizes the entire film.
The music is well chosen for each of these scenes and contributes to that atmosphere. The many hip-hop songs support the flashy style. Also, it’s very nice to play with the transitions between environments or with a flashback. The visual style is surprising in a genre that too often lapses into predictable formulaic work.
It has just broken up between the young accountant Dom and his girlfriend. He is dressed in sackcloth and ash, but his bride has it much easier. He is already together with Eric, Dom’s best friend, with whom he was also unfaithful. Dom faces the outside world again for the first time and goes to a friend’s art show. There he meets Yas. A happy girl who did not fall into her mouth. The two hit it off immediately and end up in endless conversation as they stroll through the streets of London.
The excitement, curiosity and thrill of meeting someone and instantly clicking with them are perfectly portrayed in rye lane. The unmistakable chemistry between Dom and Yas backs him up. Both characters experience the range of emotions that comes with it. Their innocence and charm make them recognizable.
It’s not all roses and moonshine. Dom and Yas have had a similar painful experience recently. The tone is not always cheerful and in rye lane there is also room for the negative side of a situation like this. Yas and Dom’s insecurities are frequently discussed. Surprised with that too rye lane within the genre of romantic comedy.
Apart from romance, it is also good for comedy. The jokes come time and time again, often mostly thanks to clever one-liners. The funny dialogues are well written and timed. Through those dialogues, the characters and their character traits are also clearly resolved immediately, without spending much time on their backstories.
Throughout the film, Dom and Yas walk, in their constant conversation. remember the Beforetrilogy, but with the bravado of a Wes Anderson movie. A breath of fresh air in the genre, and at the same time a feast of recognition. Not all clichés are avoided, but the quick editing and visual flair more than make up for it. An impressive debut, which leaves us impatiently waiting for what else Raine Allen-Miller has in store.
rye lane can be seen in Disney+.