Anne+: The Film review – a strong narrative on discovering oneself

By Daniel Hart
Published: February 11, 2022
Netflix Anne+: The Film


There’s a lot to be learned from this Netflix film, in which the cast performs incredibly, and the story is directed to a tee.

This review of Netflix’s Anne+: The Film does not contain spoilers.

“Space.” It’s a simple word. It can mean many definitions in human relationships. It could mean that “my partner wants space.” It could mean that a person likes their own space. Or, it could also mean that space provides clarity for a person once it is given. In the case of Anne (played by Hanna van Vliet), the character only starts discovering what she actually wants once her partner Sara (played by Jouman Fattal) is not with her physically for a prolonged period. The scenario is a regular feature in relationships.

A sequel to the series, Anne+: The Film sells a supportive, loving relationship between Anne and Sara. Plans are in action; Sara has a career opportunity in Montreal, and Anne is going to live there with her. Anne has her own ambitions too, and is finishing a book in Amsterdam. So, with that, Anne plans to join Sara in two months to start their new life together. The couple have also agreed a poly relationship.

That’s a lot to unpack, but the premise wisely sells a soppy story to catch the audience off-guard. The LQBTQ+ film performs a plot whiplash. Once the swooning premise is delivered, we see Anne in her own reality, in Amsterdam, and without Sara.

Anne+: The Film says a lot about modern-day relationships and the complications that can arrive if boundaries are not set, and “wants and needs” are not shared. Offering space to share what each other want in life is the crux of a happy relationship. While I cannot speak on the behalf of a poly relationships, the concept appears to be the same, however, it feels complex and requires an abundant of emotional regulation and management.

Anne represents many of us in our `’twenty-somethings” — in a relationship that represents the feeling of love but not exactly knowing what you want. It’s a confusing, muddling feeling that presents shadows more than a fully formed view of the world. The Netflix film shows Anne’s shadows rather well.

Anne+: The Film presents a loving and supportive LGBTQ+ community, recognizing the cultural shift on pronouns and the sensitivity to understanding them. On more than one occasion, Anne corrects others and herself on the pronouns of a particular character, highlighting how the modern world is adjusting to respecting a person’s identity. Anne, herself is discovering what it means to be a lesbian and the pleasures and social norms that come. The film explores how her universe becomes more expansive, emotional and intuitive while physically apart from her partner.

Anne+: The Film understands relationships. It understands the pitfalls of the lack of communication and how attachment styles, love languages, and “wants and needs” are the Bible of understanding one another. There’s a lot to be learned from this Netflix film, in which the cast performs incredibly, and the story is directed to a tee. While the lessons in this story are not seismic, it will at least remind the audience of the importance of understanding human relationships.

What did you think of Netflix’s Anne+: The Film? Comment below.

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