take my eyes off of you"
And so it is, two people meet on a crowded London street.
The attraction is instant. They can't take their eyes off each other. A
hospital visit, a walk, a conversation and a relationship is formed. And
so it is, two people mistakenly meet in an aquarium, one thinks she is here
to meet him for an afternoon of passion the other just wanted to look at
the fish. A conversation starts, a connection grows and a relationship starts.
Through association fuelled by passion, a tentative bond is formed that
will bring them all, closer.
Character driven drama can be very hit and miss especially
when strong emotions come into play but can director Mike Nichols' story
of passion, lust and love draw you closer?
Based on the play by Patrick Marber, 'Closer' sees the veteran
director bring us his best movie in a very long time. This is a powerful
and emotional drama, spanning four years in the lives of two couples, intertwined
through passion, love, jealousy and infidelity. Every emotion associated
with a relationship is explored and laid to bear, as we witness four people's
lives come together and fall apart.
What makes the film so watchable is how real the story is.
This isn't an epic tale of love or a story of love overcoming great adversity
or even an account of soul mates destined to be together, these are four
average, everyday people coming into each other's lives. You instantly connect
with them, following their trails and tribulations as their romantic lives
become more complex and interwoven. From the initial meeting of Dan and
Alice on a London street, we see a story of circumstance and events play
out, that would have never have occurred would not have been for that initial,
At the centre of the movie is the performance from the four
leads. The whole film revolves around them, with no supporting characters
to distract you from their characters. Our initial pair is Dan and Alice,
played wonderfully by Jude Law and Natalie Portman. As Dan, Jude Law goes
through the biggest transformation. When we are first introduced to him
he is an underachieving writer, confined to the obituary section of a London
newspaper. Over the course of the movie we see his character grow into a
confident and published novelist, full of charisma. Dan is probably the
most dislikeable character in the movie, coming across as very selfish and
uncaring, dishing out the words 'I love you' with no real understanding
of what it actually means. The role proves again that there is more to Law
than just his pretty boy looks and he is an actor to be taken seriously.
It is Alice who draws Dan out of himself with an injection confidence, but
in doing so doomed their relationship from the start. When we first meet
her, Alice is brimming with self-assurance, an enigma that any man would
be instantly draw to but over the course of the movie we find out she is
completely different. After been unfairly labelled as a commercial film
actress due to her association with a rather big science fiction franchise,
Natalie Portman proves again that she is an extremely talented actress.
The role of Alice is probably the most complex of the piece as you only
get to see her true self very briefly and you don't realise this until well
after the event. The role is a tour-de-force for Portman and a true reflection
of the talent she first showed us in 'Leon (The Professional)' all those
Joining the story later on are Larry and Anna, played by Clive
Owen and Julia Roberts. Larry is an overly shy dermatologist, who likes
to meet women over the Internet and has never really found true happiness.
This is quite far removed from the usual heartthrob roles you usually equate
Clive Owen with. He plays the vulnerable member of the four, the one who
is the real innocent party, whose only crime was to fall in love with a
woman he couldn't really trust. Owen really comes into his own when he discovers
his relationship is falling apart and shows again what a good character
actor he really is. Julia Roberts' Anna is probably the least developed
of the characters in the film. Through no fault of her own, you never really
see why the two men are drawn to her, apart from her good looks. While she
may be a successful photographer, she is a woman who longs to be loved and
when she has it she throws it away. Julia Roberts does here best with what
she has but the character needs a little more to bring the best out of her.
'Closer' is a character driven drama that feels very real.
Its stage play roots are abundantly clear as this is a story about four
people and nothing more but each of them played to the best of the actors
abilities. Uncompromising, sexual, funny and truthful, this is a look at
modern relationships at their most frank and a true reflection of the perils
and pitfalls of love. And so it is, just you think it should be and not
a Hollywood fairytale.
PICTURE & SOUND
Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1, the
movie is presented extremely well.
Music Video: 'The Blower's Daughter' performed by Damien Rice (5.08
Watch the music video to the sublime track that forms the musical backbone
of the film.
Previews of 'Hitch', 'Spanglish', 'Are we there yet?', 'The Forgotten',
'Little Black Book' and Being Julia'
With only the inclusion of the music video for the wonderful Damien Rice
track, the bonus features for the movie are in a word, lacking. This should
not put you off renting or buying the DVD however as this is still a superb
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