Loneliness is the biggest plague of the 21st century. We are living in a time when an actual pandemic happened and people all around the world had to stay at home and not be able to communicate or see their loved ones for a long time. For a time, the world seemed empty, and more and more people started to reflect on loneliness as something that can really make a person’s life a living hell. I Can Feel You Walking is a movie exactly about that feeling, and how the illusion of human connection can be enough to send us on quite an emotional journey. Let’s review it.
I Can Feel You Walking is a film directed by Rachel Lambert and tells the story of two characters, Kevin and Shannon, neighbors living in a duplex house. Each of them has been living their own lives without even noticing each other’s existence. However, when Shannon ODs in front of their house, Kevin is pushed to make contact, and from there, things get even more complicated as they cannot ignore the existence of the other any longer. Can they find the company they so desperately need?
The film stars Milton Katz as Kevin and Rachel Lambert herself in the role of Shannon. I Can Feel You Walking is a very small film, and it is basically just these two actors playing off each other in sequences that are very raw and emotional. The film has this strange structure where we spend quite a bit of time at the start of the film with each of the characters. We get a long intro seeing Shannon’s life and then another long section seeing Kevin’s life. After this, the movie joins them, and we see them interact as the relationship progresses from there.
I Can Feel You Walking is a very hard movie to watch. The movie isn’t particularly fun. This is not a movie with that in mind. It is a film that tries to explore human connection coming from two individuals who have basically no connections to anyone at all. The plague of loneliness has been killing people way before the pandemic hit us, but unlike COVID-19, loneliness doesn’t have a clear cure or a vaccine. There are just too many factors involved, and they all lead to people feeling disconnected from everything else in the world. It isn’t a happy feeling.
So. Lambert tries to develop these two characters, who are truly lonely and then pushes them together. The result is small moments of greatness that feel very real. One, in particular, involving cooking pasta, felt like something that we all have felt at one point in our lives. However, these small moments of greatness are stretched out by a lot, and the movie feels at many times like it could have been so much shorter and more potent as a result. This movie goes for about 80 minutes, but it feels like 60 or less would have been a better runtime.
Of course, we are dealing with a small-budget production here, so it is hard to ask for more when possibly that wasn’t a card they could have played while making this movie. It leaves the film in a weird position, as it feels like too long for a movie, but the idea also feels like it needs more than just the 20 minutes that a short can contain. Maybe this was the best compromise Rachel and her team could make. It isn’t bad. Like we said, there are some truly great moments here, but as a whole, it is a movie that is very particular, and hard to recommend.
Thankfully, the performances by both Lambert and Katz are quite solid. They really get the chance to make the most out of some really uncomfortable situations. Sometimes it is so hard to watch that the scenes might give you flashbacks to moments when you have witnessed fights and discussions where you were not a participant. You just want to go and leave these people to their awkwardness and discussions. The scenes might also trigger your empathy, and you might want to reach out to them and talk to them.
We also have to point out Lambert’s amazing direction. The scenes would not have been as effective in their awkwardness if Lambert was not on point, leaning on that subject as much as she could. The subjects of the scenes feel very intentional, and while not all of them are fun to watch, that doesn’t mean that they are not well realized. Not every movie needs to be fun or entertaining. Movies can also be an open space to make you think about things you would not think about otherwise.
I Can Feel You Walking is a raw and powerful exploration of what it means to be lonely and how hard it can be to open up to someone once the disease of loneliness has permeated every cell of your being. This is not a movie for everybody, so it is hard to recommend, but if you are in the mood for something raw, emotional, and certainly hard to watch, then this is the movie for you.