Starring Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy (and subtitled “Her” and “Him”), the two films tell of a young couple that falls in and out of love. Some of the scenes are unique to each film — McAvoy’s character may be seen talking about the relationship with a buddy in “Him”; Chastain’s character could open up to a friend in “Her.”
Many scenes, though, are common to both movies — they’re just shaded differently depending on whose movie you’re watching. So a word, a glance or a detail will look different, coming up as McAvoy might imagine it in “Him” than it would as Chastain sees it in “Her.”
Essentially, he’s taken the scalpel of literary subjectivity to the rich fodder of a relatable couple. By the time you’ve finished watching both movies, Benson hopes, you’ll have a complete if complicated picture of the relationship. Think, perhaps, of the multiple-voices conceit of “Rashomon,” the double-feature expansiveness of “Che” and the shifting narrative details of “Memento.” The films, which have not yet been bought by a U.S. distributor, are designed to be watched in succession, though in either order.
“What I wanted to capture was that feeling of looking across the table at a couple and trying to understand what their relationship is really like, and how they each experienced that relationship differently, ” Benson said in an interview.