Friday, November 21, 2014

Closer (2004)

Director: Mike Nichols
Writer:   Patrick Marber
Cast:      Natalie Portman, Jude Law, Julia Roberts, Clive Owen

The relationship of two couples become complicated and deceitful when the man from one couple meets the woman of the other. 

Film is an adaptation of Patrick Marber's award winning play of the same name. The director Mike Nichols, who passed away yesterday, is also someone who jumps between stage play and films and is quite adept at adapting a play into film. The film does have a stage play feel to it when it comes to the dialog and same can be said of Nichols' debut classic 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?', which won Elizabeth Taylor an academy award. Closer landed academy awards nominations for both Natalie Portman and Clive Owen. Nichols is of course most famous as the director of classic romantic comedy film 'The Graduate' and apart from the three films mentioned so far, I have also seen his last directed film- 'Charlie Wilson's War' which was also a good one without being a romantic comedy.

Closer will not be suitable to everyone's taste but I loved it. It is evident that the director, a veteran of this genre, cuts through all the bullshit and give us an adult look at the subjects. The two ladies are Americans while the gentlemen play English characters like their real selves. I don't think there is any conversation involving anyone other than any two of the four main characters and all the four characters are in one room only during one scene. The play and thus the film is based on Mozart's opera 'Cosi fan tutte' which is referenced in the films quite a few times. The funniest couple of scenes in the film involve both the male characters. Clive Owen, who plays the Dermatologist, is the only one who is sure of what he wants and continually sows the seeds of destruction for Jude Law's relationships. Over the course of the film the power relations in both the relationships get inversed along with their habits like cigarette smoking/non-smoking. Overall the film is a great watch if you are up for what I felt was a very different treatment.

Rating: 4/5