"Dad says it's to keep other people out. But I don't believe him anymore. We're the only ones here. I think it's just meant to keep us in."
"One and Two" is a kind of pastoral version of "The Maze Runner" and "Jumpers". A magical place at an unknown place where Eva (Kiernan Shipka) and Zac (Timothée Chalamet) live a carefree life. Under the scrutiny of their mother Elizabeth (Elizabeth Reaser) and their tyrannical father Daniel (Grant Bowler) the two teenagers grow up while they perform the assigned daily tasks. It looks a bit like "Little house on the prairie". Only the beautiful farm and the idyllic setting are surrounded by an immense wooden fence. A kind of natural barrier to separate Eva and Zac from the outside world. Why and how long this commune exists, isn't thoroughly explained in movie filled with beautiful images. And that isn't the only thing.
I wonder what genre of film they actually had in mind. A kind of superhero film in which two innocent looking teens have a limited superpower? Or a "coming of age" film with two growing teenagers whose desire it is to finally be able to discover the outside world? Or was religious fanaticism and the associated superstition the central theme? All these themes were incorporated into this film. But really well developed they weren't. The second part with Eva mainly starring in it, actually was pretty disappointing. The arising situation was ideal to add more energetic elements.
The performances are subtly executed, despite their simplicity. Brother and sister obediently carry out everything in the daytime and devoutly recite their prayers before supper. Their daily routine is only interrupted by a swim in a local pond. And in the evening their rebellious nature kicks in and they play tag in the fields while they use their mysterious force. Next there is Daniel. A devout father who fears this mystery and blames this demonic evil to be the cause of the deteriorating health of his wife. Shipka is most in the spotlight because Chalamet disappears after a while into the background. All play their roles well, even though the content is rather meager.
But especially the camera work deserves the most praise. This is already clear from the opening scene with the sunlight illuminating water, after which it's suddenly interrupted by the diving bodies of Eva and Zac. A brilliant light show which was shot very professionally. The nocturnal escapades of the two are beautifully filmed. It's just the unanswered questions that kills this film. What's the use of the great wall since Eva and Zac effortlessly can teleport through it? Also sneaking back in their bedroom at night was kind of ridiculous. Why didn't they use the same procedure as they used before? And where did this special gift come from? Eventually "One and two" was intriguing and contained an interesting topic, but it wasn't satisfactory enough. Sometimes there are films which aren't impressive in terms of content, but the design and cinematic framing still ensure that it remains fascinating and it is worthwhile to see it till the end.
Review by Peter Pluymers from the Internet Movie Database.