okay I AM REALLY SORRY TO DO THIS ALL OVER AN INNOCENT PHOTOSET but this really make me want a movie where don cheadle and chiwetel ejiofor are vitriolic exes who got together in their high school chess club and then stayed together long-distance for two years in this increasingly co-dependent and fucked up relationship that left both of them with these deep, ragged scars when it was over. because even though neither of them were in the same place for the vast majority of the time they spent together, they talked so much, got to know each other so well, grew to be so firmly and inexorably attached to one another that when the truth of their incompatibilities finally started to settle in they both pushed it too hard, digging in to the vulnerabilities they knew were there because hurting each other felt better to them, at the time, than admitting how hurt they were themselves.
and so they broke up, right, and ejiofor’s character, let’s call him daniel, he was a freshman when cheadle’s character, let’s call him jeffrey, was a senior. so daniel was still in the smallish city they both grew up in when all this agonizingly painful adolescent bullshit went down, and then he ended up staying local, went to college in the area, got an entry-level government job in the city when he graduated and just kept climbing the ranks. and the thing is originally he was only staying around because if the whole mess of things with jeffrey taught him anything it was that his family was always his most solid bet, that his family was his cornerstone and his rock, and at first he just didn’t want to go flying off to anywhere, not when distance could be so terrifyingly caustic. and of course as he got older he grew to realize that there was no amount of distance that could take his family’s love from him, but by that point he loved the city, too, wanted to do right by it, wanted to help people, so he ran for city council and won, and then he ran for mayor and, to his own shock, won, and in the middle of his second wildly successful term he’s approached by a local businessman with a lot of pull (ken watanabe, maybe? while we’re playing the ridiculously-attractive-dudes game?) who wants him to run for senate, wants to back the campaign, says he can even get him this big-shot Washington campaign manager cheap, and is he in? and daniel says yes.
and JEFFREY, right, jeffrey left for school in part to get AWAY from his family, who he kind of can’t stand, and that’s what that big distance piece with him and daniel really was, him moving away. so he did undergrad wherever, across the country from wherever this hometown city is, and then moved to DC and got this job with this high-profile campaign at the time as, idk, regional coordinator or something, and climbed the ranks and climbed the ranks. and soon he became this REALLY BIG DEAL CAMPAIGN DUDE who was known for being able to make the tough calls and never take shit and, whatever, the point is he was basically the next james carville until the high-profile senator whose re-election campaign he was running threw him under the bus for some dirty tactics shit jeffrey wasn’t even INVOLVED in and he suddenly found himself being totally fucking shunned by everyone in the industry, so when hot-shot business dude from his hometown ken watanabe calls him up like hey hey come out and interview with this dude i’m gonna talk into running, jeffrey just like, gets on a plane and GOES
only then he gets there and jeffrey is like WHAT THE FUCK, DANIEL!? and daniel is like WHAT THE FUCK, JEFFREY?! and jeffrey’s grown up into this cynical jaded guy who’s seen the worst of humanity and aged beyond his years with all the stress he’s been heaping on himself, and daniel’s grown up to be this fresh-faced idealist who doesn’t look at his demons and who is genuinely bent on doing the absolute best he can for people and they HATE each other, because of all the history between them but also because they’ve grown up to be these radically different guys. but daniel offers jeffrey the job anyway because he honestly thinks jeffrey’s the best choice and jeffrey takes the job because he honestly thinks daniel can win
AND THEN THEY PLAY CHESS AND ARGUE ABOUT EVERYTHING EVER AND JEFFREY GROWS TO SEE DANIEL’S IDEALISM AS A BALM TO ALL THE TERRIBLE THINGS HE’S EVER COME TO BELIEVE ABOUT HUMANITY AND DANIEL GROWS TO SEE JEFFREY’S CYNICISM BOTH AS A HELPFUL CHECK ON HIS OWN OFTEN NAIVE OPTIMISM AND AS PRETTY FUCKING FUNNY, ACTUALLY, AS IT TURNS OUT, AND DESPITE (MAYBE EVEN BECAUSE OF) THE HISTORY BETWEEN THEM AND THE WEIGHT OF THAT AND THE DIVIDE BETWEEN THE PEOPLE THEY’VE COME TO BE, THEY WIN DANIEL’S SENATE SEAT AND EACH OTHERS’ HEARTS.
or. you know. it could just be some gorgeous pictures of don cheadle and chewitel ejiofor, either way :D