Trans writer/director Mari Walker’s first narrative feature is a confessionalist character study called See You Then, a story that takes place largely over one evening between two people with a complicated history seeing each other for the first time in over a decade. Kris (Pooya Mohseni) and Naomi (Lynn Chen) were once in a cisgendered relationship. Years after abruptly breaking up with Naomi, Kris, having transitioned, calls her and asks to get together for dinner. Naomi has since abandoned her art to become a professor, and is a wife and mother of two, and Kris has had to learn how to live in the world as her authentic self and work on her beliefs around self-worth. They’ve got a lot to catch up on and a lot of unfinished business to deal with from their past, so the evening gets understandably complicated and emotional.
While the script has strong moments that ring true, it is in the delivery of Walker’s written dialogue through the performances that See You Then comes alive. There is chemistry there, and a willingness to expose their characters’ long submerged raw, frayed feelings that drives the story forward and has the viewers hoping these two will find a way to forgive each other and themselves. When a wound is revealed that has never been triaged much less healed, we question if they can do anything more than walk away and never speak again.
Walker doesn’t shy away from awkward silences, or moments in which one of the leads goes inward, or inappropriate, potentially alienating reveals by either protagonist. At times it feels like we as the audience are unwanted interlopers in a very private conversation. All this makes the strained relationship more believable.
For the review in its entirety, go to AWFJ.org HERE.