14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Intriguing look at identity in Japan,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Like Someone in Love [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
First of all I must say that this movie won't be for everyone, relying as it does on the viewer being patient and happy to let things slowly unfold, albeit in a most beguiling manner. This is not a movie for the 'Die Hard' or 'Transformers' brigade. It is slow and subtle with a narrative that is slight but characters who fascinate due to the indistinctness of who they are - that is to say all the main characters may or may not be quite what they seem and all of them present different personas according to their situation and relationships.
The film fascinates from the opening scene in a bar where you can hear Rin Takanashi talking on her phone while she is out of shot and we see the bar from her physical viewpoint.
The beautiful cinematography helps to underline the isolation of the characters by techniques like scenes occurring within the interior of cars and through windows shot with beautiful reflections of the neon lights of Tokyo. The main female character is played by Rin Takanashi whose delicate and vulnerable beauty lends such poignancy to the film, especially in the scene in a taxi where she listens to voicemails from her grandmother - such a quietly heartbreaking scene. And it is no coincidence that Kiarostami chose Japan as the location for a movie about hidden personas and confused identities.
The only reason I didn't give this movie 5 stars was because of the film's sudden abrupt ending which leaves you not knowing what happened next or where the slight narrative was leading to. It did not bother me too much as I can imagine that Kiarostami did this because he was implying that when people's identities are so fluid and indistinct then there will never be a resolution to their problematic lives but I can equally imagine that the ending would infuriate many viewers used to a more conventional narrative form. But when I think about this movie (which I have viewed several times) it is the pleasure of the slow observation of these people and their life experiences that makes it so rewarding and so visually seductive.