Sat. May 21st, 2022

Written with balanced conciseness and spaciousness by Walker and Kristen Uno, “See You Then” is a dialogue-driven character study that makes you want to know more about Kris and Naomi, and doesn’t get caught up in exposition that would make more clear the story’s intentions of touching on the past while reflecting the future. One of the best things about the script is that its discussion topics pop up naturally, and fill in emotional and historical space without losing the pacing. Mohseni and Chen are an excellent on-screen pair throughout with their crisply edited banter, sometimes at odds with each other given the past hurt that Naomi remembers far more vividly than Kris. Mohseni’s genuine warmth makes Kris’ defensiveness all the more layered, showing the tragedy in a meaningful connection that was nearly lost forever. 

As they sit and sometimes walk, their discussions touch on topics that are striking on their own, like Naomi’s practical life choices, or Kris’ experience from a year ago in transitioning, and Kris’ desire to become a mother. “See You Then” often ambles into spiky territory whenever Naomi calls out Kris’ previous actions back in the college days, as part of an identity that Kris has moved on from in only certain ways. Meanwhile Naomi’s sullen ruminations about motherhood, drawn out by Kris, give loving space to the complications that come with such a demanding role. Later on in the night, the two stop by to see Naomi’s kids. When Naomi puts one of them to bed, you can see their conversation in her troubled gaze as she looks at the sleeping child. 

You enjoy being in the company of Kris and Naomi so much that the inevitable climax—a mystery for a long time as to what that may be—is nearly dreaded. How could this movie pull off a meaningful but inevitable clash, given all the tenderness from before? But it does so beautifully, tying everything together with details that have been in between the pauses of their conversations. And because of Naomi’s artistry background, it even unfolds with a visual backdrop that naturally gives a lot of color, the camera spinning around them. It’s a stylized departure from the previously restrained style, and it helps Walker’s selective but deliberate flourishes further leave their collective mark. 

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