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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Closer (Released in 2004) - A romantic drama - Starring Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman and Clive Owen

Based on an award winning play of the same name, Closer is a romantic drama film directed by Mike Nicholas. The movie and the play are both modern day tragic versions of Mozart’s play Cosi fan tutte. With 4 central characters, played by Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman and Clive Owen, the movie received many awards and accolades including Oscar nominations and Golden Globe wins. The movie plot follows the lives of 4 adults-Dan (played by Jude Law), Alice (played by Natalie Portman), Anna (played by Julia Roberts) and Larry (played by Clive Owen). The story outlines their relationships and the fascination they feel towards the game of “love”. They do not have any real love for their respective partners, and confess to cheating not because they feel guilty of it, but more so to hurt the other person. The story follows their “attempts” at sincere truthful relationships.
The movie starts with Dan and Alice walking across each other and catching each other’s eye. Harmless flirting follows, only to result in Alice getting knocked over by a taxi right in front of Dan. He rushes to help her and from there on, begins their relationship. Alice is shown to be a stripper from New York, who has come to England to get away from that life, and Dan is a struggling British Author. Cut to a year later, Dan has now written a book based on Alice, and has begun straying from their relationship. He meets Anna who is photographing Dan and his novel for publicity. He then goes about trying to convince Anna to get involved with him; she however turns down his advances after being confronted by Alice, who breaks down in front of Anna telling her she knows what Dan has been trying to do. Anna photographs Alice’s break down, to use it in her gallery opening later.

Some more time passes and Dan, who has been trying in vain to get Anna out of his head, now pretends to be her and starts a conversation online with a man named Larry. He makes Larry turn up at a place he knows Anna to frequent. Larry and Anna meet and Anna tells Larry he has been made a fool of, and that the man who must have hooked them up is Dan. Sometime later, Larry meets Alice at Anna’s photo exhibition. He recognizes her from one of the photos on the wall and knows she is with Dan. At the same venue, Dan convinces Anna to have an affair with him, in spite of both of them already having partners. She agrees, but half way through this affair, Larry and Anna marry. What follows is Dan’s and Anna’s submission of guilt to their respective partners.
Both couples break up as a result of this. Alice goes back to being a stripper, where she meets Larry. She goes by another name and no matter how many times Larry asks Alice her real name, she maintains that it is Jane Jones. Larry by then is all for revenge, he decides to get back at Dan, by making both - his present and ex-partner cheat on him. The end is all rather confusing, with total loss on all sides with regards to love and relationships. But, it leaves us wondering how much of their real selves did the four of them give in their respective relationships? Especially at the very end, when Dan is shown to be crossing the very street he did in the beginning of the movie, and he happens to see a name on a tile  dedicated to “Alice Ayers” who had saved 3 kids at the cost of her own life. And when Alice returns to the U.S, her passport shows her name as Jane Rachel Jones.  
It helps that all 4 speak articulately and enunciate well, especially in an era where actors tend to garble their dialogues. While they may be trying their hand at love and failing miserably (what with all the deception going around their private lives), their appearances and attitudes are sharp and classy. The movie is unique in its own way, especially in today’s insincere times. What makes it unique is how the characters go about pretending to be in love and talking about love, when they truly do not know what that is. Neither do they understand each other, nor do they understand who they are or what they want.

Closer (Released in 2004) - A romantic drama - Starring Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman and Clive Owen

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