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Closer

Working like a simple yet complex poem, Closer embarks on the joys and pains of romantic relationships, entwining itself among four people from different stances of life. There's Dan, a wannabe writer who writes eulogies. He's in a relationship with Alice, a stripper who went to London to get away from things. Then there's Anna, a photographer who later on embarks in a relationship with Larry, the doctor. While not a stand-off work, its beauty comes from its flowery dialogue, the sharp cinematography and the stand out performances of two of its actors. It flows in a span of years, giving glimpse per glimpse of how love can make or break people.

The story itself is very fast paced, with scenes transitioning over long periods of time. The scenes never failed to depict the joys and difficulties of having a relationship, from finding someone, to meeting someone else, down to affairs, choices and ultimately the pain that goes with it. While there are scenes that touch on the happiness, it is immediately overtaken by loneliness, pain and regret: the dramatic side of love. If I were to watch a film about relationships, this would not be it. The transitions left the film in a rather cold tone, but masked underneath is a well-written script, with interesting characters, presented in beautiful camera work.

The dialogue was not written in such a conventional way. I haven't heard poetic banter in other films, anything similar to an argument between Alice and Dan. When Alice and Anna had their first conversation, words they poured out immediately had a meaning connected to it. Even the exchange between Alice and Larry, or the big revelation between Dan and Anna were memorable because of the manner it was presented. The camera work was amazing as well: the close up shots, most especially, as it is in the eyes where people could truly see emotion. It was very simple, but good.

Natalie Portman and Clive Owen clearly stole their performances. Not only were their characters written with much more substance, their performances brought those people to life. They stole the scenes they were in, and overshadowed their co-stars Law and Roberts. The screen came to life when they're in motion. I wish that they could have been the leads instead, and the story be told from their perspectives. Natalie Portman in particular, had the best lines, and despite being a jilted girlfriend, managed not to look completely pathetic in comparison to Jude Law's Dan. 


Final Word: Closer tries to be very dramatic, but fails to make a strong impact. However, embodied in all that is a great script and great actors, elements that still make the film worth it to see

Cast: Jude Law, Clive Owen, Natalie Portman
Director: Mike Nichols
Year: 2004

Comments

  1. I liked it more than you did, but yeah Portman and Owen were great. I really hated Law's character he was such a wuss.

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    1. I thought that Jude Law was the weakest link, character-wise. He appeared to be pathetic, whether he was "courting" Anna or begging Alice to take him back. There wasn't remotely anything interesting about him.

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  2. Excellent review. I'm a big, big fan of Closer. It's terrible, beautiful and sad, it’s not your average romance film where “love really does exist”. Closer shows the struggles found in human relationships. Glad you were a fan of Portman and Owen.

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    1. It's a good example of showing whether love exists or not, and the development of relationships in general. I like how it's quite poetic - I had to ask myself if such wording exists when people are declaring their thoughts while arguing. I don't think I can think that straight to put my feelings in an intricate manner while arguing. Portman and Owen were great, I really wished they would have been the lead characters instead.

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    2. I agree. I wish they had explored their characters more.

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