Friday, April 15, 2005


By Reymundo Salao
Just Another Film Junkie

CLOSER is the movie about adult relationships, lies and infidelity. This is a love story about four people whose paths are crossed with each other. Dan (Jude Law) is a writer whose fondness for deceitful romance is matched by his charm, Alice (Natalie Portman) is a stripper whose love is pure, Anna (Julia Roberts) is a photographer who cant clearly see who she really loves, and Larry (Clive Owen) is a doctor whose love is honest, but tends to be clouded by perversion. It is a love story, set in London, England, that gets complicatedly tied up when Dan plans to abandon his current girlfriend Alice, to start a relationship with Anna who is the girlfriend of Larry.

The film is a four-person drama that centers on four performers whose acting is superbly moving, and very human. Each of the characters has their own sympathetic charm, and equally, a flaw as well, to a point that you cannot pick one protagonist, but left with the conclusion that this is a film in which all four characters are the main characters. Alice (Natalie Portman) may be a stripper, whose one scene is very electrifying, from a male point-of-view, that is, but her character is the most human, most honest, and most pure. She has an "un-innocent" profession; yet, she is the character of pure innocence, not infected by the malice and deceit that surrounds her. Ironic and interesting. Natalie Portman's childlike but very emotional acting is truly touching She is the main character for which audiences would easily sympathize with. The story begins and ends with her. Dan is charming and impressively daring. But he has deceit written all over him. The film begins as if he's the central character, but his being a main character is highlighted by where his reckless attitude towards love would eventually take him. Jude Law perfectly fits the role, balancing his gigolo-type persona with his immature melancholia. Julia Roberts who usually plays the good girl does differently in this film, Anna, being the one who also has her own sense of betrayal, oftentimes unsure of herself, she fumbles upon one relationship to the other, maybe unintentionally at times, but she manages to be a good liar. Larry is kind of a naughty chap, but he is deep inside, just a man in love and merely wants his love back, Clive Owen plays this role convincingly. Owen may be the actor rumored to be the next James Bond, but on this film, he is purely human; vulnerable, emotional, even awkward.

The editing of the film involves time jumps from one timeline, fast-forwarding to another, for instance, one scene portrays how Dan meets Alice, and then it cuts to a scene where months have passed that the two are already in a relationship. This would do away with unnecessary scenes and goes direct to the main drama-storyline. Not to worry, because the editing is clean and clear, and doesn't leave the audience perplexed. The movie is not all too serious either, for there are numerous scenes where the humor packs large punches. It's other side of humor is its witty dialogue that, at times, may not necessarily be funny, but unforgettable.

The dialogues are remarkably well written; the screenwriter deserves a standing ovation, along with the rest of its cast and crew. Patrick Marber wrote the play and adapted "Closer" as a screenplay and is directed by Mike Nichols who also is the director of films such as The Birdcage, The Graduate, and the highly-acclaimed television mini-series "Angels In America".

The film is definitely for adults only, though there may be no total nudity and sexual scenes, the storyline is heavy on dialogues about sexuality. It is a very intelligent film. A real treat for those who have ever been in love, and have also experienced the betrayals of love. CLOSER is romantically and intellectually stimulating. And ranks high on anybody's top five favorite serious romantic drama movie of all time. The screening schedule of CLOSER at Robinson's Movieworld is 11:15 AM, 1:15 PM, 3:15, 5:15, 7:15, 9:15 PM

Check out the screening schedules of all the other films shown in Iloilo City on my website The screening schedules are updated regularly and diligently (Although schedules are subject to change without prior notice, of course).

Also showing this week on Robinson's Movieworld is the film adaptation of the popular horror video game ALONE IN THE DARK, the slick mob caper CONFIDENCE, the ultra cool, hip sequel (also adaptation of a book sequel as well) of the film "Get Shorty": BE COOL, The action drama HOSTAGE on extended run, and the pioneers of Shaolin Kung-Fu movies, Gordon Liu in the film SHAOLIN VS EVIL DEAD. It's a great week of outstanding films, all showing at Robinson's Movieworld.

No comments: