Friday, May 3, 2013

Like Someone in Love: Movie Review

A peculiar relationship dissected as subtly as possible.

“Like Someone in Love” is Abbas Kiarostami’s follow-up to the mind-bending relationship drama “Certified Copy”. Dissection of the title alone provides so many interesting clues and directions for the film to take in addition to what was analyzed previously. And while it does in fact address those interesting ideas (indirectly), it is as minimal as any film-going audience could possibly stand. 2012

Directed by: Abbas Kiarostami

Screenplay by: Abbas Kiarostami

Starring: Rin Takanashi, Tadashi Okuno, Ryo Kase

Akiko (Rin Takashi) is a college-aged girl up to something in the big city of Tokyo that is probably not good for her. She’s having an argument with her boyfriend on the phone and she’s saying no to a job that a middle-aged man is offering her. This middle-aged man is clearly her pimp and “no” means “yes, sir, I will do whatever you tell me to.” So into the cab Akiko goes and we begin to worry about her safety. We spent an awful long time worrying about her safety with no idea what lies ahead for her. The cab ride was two hours long and we saw a lot of it. We saw a lot of Akiko staring out the windows, Akiko glancing at the driver and we're left wondering if there's a point to this cab ride.

Akiko arrives at the apartment of an older gentleman looking for companionship. We don’t really know what exactly Takashi Watanabe (Tadashi Okuno) wanted with Akiko, and then in the morning he drives her back to Tokyo. Another long car ride.

Visually the car rides were impeccably shot. The scenery was reflected in the windshield and we could still see the characters’ faces behind. Unfortunately we don’t really know what’s happening with these characters during these long car rides. Sometimes a car ride is just a car ride.

Eventually we meet Noriaki (Ryo Kase), Akiko’s offensive boyfriend. And he starts putting the relationships into perspective. A different perspective. He allows Akiko and Watanabe to act differently than they actually are, which allows us to start seeing them as they actually are. And then it ends. Well, not quite that quickly, but for the purposes of a spoiler-free review, it ends.

We’re given so little on screen to examine that it can be frustrating even to the viewers that appreciate the subtle beauty in film. Two weeks after first seeing it, my mind has started to form a few opinions on what was being said but it’s still a bit too little, too late.

Similar Titles:

Certified Copy (2010) - "Certified Copy" is an original work of art.

Stuck Between Stations (2011) - A relationship drama about the characters and what they have to say.

To the Wonder (2012) - A series of images adding up to one relationship, and you get to add the meaning.