Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Larry - She doesnt want to be happy.
Dan - Everyone wants to be happy!
Larry - Depressives don't. They want to be unhappy to confirm they're depressed. If they were happy they couldn't be depressed anymore. They'd have to go out into the world and live. Which can be depressing!
Just one of numerous instances of razor-sharp verbal wit showcased in the masterpiece that is "Closer". From the first shot featuring "The Blower's Daughter" to the very end, which incidentally features the same song, this is a movie that is an unforgettable experience.
Here's a movie that says, "things dont always work out as expected & that we are not as strong-willed as we may think", and boldly goes on to explore the consequences. Mike Nichols has given us a refreshingly brutal look at relationships. And done it with breathtaking elegance as well.
At its heart, the movie is about relationships. What sets it apart is that it deals with all the aspects of a relationship that weaken it. It's like watching all the weaknesses of humans crystallized in one film. It might not sound like fun, but life is not always fun either. Unlike the dime a dozen 'feel-good' movies out there that are far removed from reality, this is a movie not afraid to tackle reality head-on. There is a unique strength and vitality to realism that just cannot be captured by fiction, and it's this realism that makes 'Closer' so compelling.
The biggest asset of this film is the unbelievably clever dialogue. Considering that the movie has zero action & almost no comedy, the dialogue is the only weapon at the director's disposal to make an impact on the viewer, apart from the acting. And what an impact it makes! Almost every single line is laced with shrewdness, cleverness & wit and delivered exquisitely. Brutal and hard-hitting at times, deceptively simple at others, but utterly convincing and clever always, its the dialogue that turns this movie from a 'very good' movie to an 'exceptional' one.
Finally, the stellar cast - Clive Owen, Natalie Portman, Jude Law and Julia Roberts. All four are exceptional, and not so much acting as 'living' their respective roles.
I like three kinds of movies - ones that make me laugh ('Snatch' comes to mind), ones that promise a great ending ('The Usual Suspects') and lastly, and the most difficult to achieve, ones in which the story is an end in itself and the actual ending matters very little.
"Closer" belongs to the third type. You don't watch it for the ending, to know how it all turns out in the end; you watch it to savour the class & elegance of every shot and every dialogue. You watch it to witness four tremendous actors and one brilliant director at the peak of their powers. It is the equivalent of a beautiful journey where the destination is immaterial, and the journey is all that counts. This is a journey well worth taking!