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.
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