A Movie Analysis on Closer
Closer is film that talks about how the modern world views love. It is a love story that integrates some of the contemporary notions to the modern carefree philosophy of love. It is about chances, serendipity, intense emotions translated into sexual desires, casual affairs and betrayals and confrontations. This is a story about two couples who crossed paths after Dan and Anna met, Dan portrayed by Jude Law as the boyfriend of Natalie Portman as Alice, is madly in love with Anna, played by Julia Roberts who happens to be married to Larry or Clive Owen.
The complication began when Dan and Anna met in a photo shoot with Anna as the photographer; Dan was at that time accompanied by Alice, whom he was currently having a relationship with. Dan fell in love with Anna despite the complications on his side while Anna went on to marry Larry, a dermatologist. Anna continued the affair with Dan, which later on intensified to a point when Larry knew about it but doesn’t let Anna go.
The complication ended with Anna going back to her husband Larry and breaking it off with Dan. Dan on the other hand was confronted by Alice who knew about the affair all along, broke it off with Jude Law and back to the real life she left behind.
This film talks about love as an intense emotion that overwhelms a person into doing something illogical and unreasonable, how love sort of dictates a person into being irrational and uses it as an alibi for his irrationality. It talks about how we ascribe our own meanings into love and questioning the meanings of others if it would come in conflict with ours. It somehow conveys that there is no exact definition to what love is all about, as it is only a state of being, a feeling which prompts you into deciding whether you allow it to rule over you or use it into something that would benefit you in the end. This film also shows us how complicated the word Love can be if we allow it to complicate our lives. That no matter the overwhelming emotions, if we only let our rational mind dictate our decisions, then the choices we make in life would not be flawed. It also talks about relationships amidst this modern fast pace life we live in, of how strangely the world views an ideal relationship nowadays. How the decision of getting married can be as easy and quick as getting a divorce. It is as if two people enter into an amicable agreement of getting married and mutually decides to rescind or terminate such contract when complications arise. To me, it conveys a message of how marriage can be just a piece of paper that you legitimize until such time when love is no longer there. That, relationships nowadays are so casual and lenient to a point where you could no longer distinguish what is real and what is not. That sometimes, we no longer stop and think about our reasons, the right reason in having relationships, we plunge ourselves into situations despite the fact that we need time to heal instead of jumping from one relationship to another. As flawed as the views of some about love and relationships, there are also other who honestly and genuinely involve themselves into something they knew which could be passing and temporary, like Alice who’s been through a possessive kind of relationship and went to London to escape. She knew that Dan could be the person she longs for yet is prepared for the worse to come. Yes she may have ached for the inconsistencies and misgivings of her partner, but she was willing to love unconditionally until she could no longer bare the pain and withdrew herself. This film also talks about gender roles, of how men used to be viewed as polygamous in nature now concedes to a more modern view that women too can have affairs outside their marriages yet chooses to stay in such under the condition that the husband forgets about it and starts all over again. This tells us how the modern world’s view about women changed over the years, consequential to perhaps the oppression of women and their rights in the past. When women used to be seen as mere housewives, tending the house and taking care of the children while their husbands work, now deviates from that contemporary role and proves her independence and most of all the fact that anything men do, women can do better. It shows how roles can become temporary and dependent upon the views of the observant. In the past, most relationships are flawed and complicated by men who have affairs; nowadays it is the other way around, where a relationship can be destroyed by the infidelity of either partner. When a marriage is shocked by the infidelity of the husbands, contemporary wives would tend to become lenient about it so long as the paternal obligations to his children are maintained. Contemporary wives also bears the notion that eventually their husband will get tired of all the philandering and will eventually mature up to his responsibilities. The contemporary wife would choose to endure the heartache knowing that her husband will one day realize his mistakes and go back to her. However, this is not what would usually happen in a modern setting, because the modern would let her husband go, should he be caught cheating. Nowadays, a modern wife can have affairs too, and in this film it shows how husbands must somehow swallow their pride, forget about their ego, forgive their philandering wife and start all over again.
In the aspect of character analysis, the character portrayed by Jude Law here is a classic example of a later bloomer who requires another person to tell him about the qualities he possesses before he can actually feel good about himself. This is a guy who has difficulty with self confidence and consequentially refuses to go out and find the right person. He is the kind of personality that can not find the courage to tell someone his feelings because of his lack of ego. He evolved into a different persona after he met his muse in the character of Alice, who built him up to become strong and confident enough to stand up to the independent and slightly strong character of Anna. When Dan was deep into his feelings for Anna, he regressed into someone whose happiness was once again dependent upon someone, overwhelmed by such emotion to a point of acting in such immense irrationality, regretful in the end.
Anna’s character on the hand is one that is strong and very independent, she is the character that produced and caused the twist of the story. Her infidelity to her husband led Larry to pursue his scheme into keeping her and not letting go, making deals and compromises when necessary. Anna’s character is responsible in extracting the quality of person that each is possessed with. With Anna’s flaws, the quality and the integrity of the rest of the characters in this film is put to a test, to determine who is sincere and who is merely playing around. Hers is the character that proves how women’s role evolved into someone independent and un-affected by emotional turmoil. Someone who stands up to the challenges of the world yet humbly bows to her defeat and acknowledges her flaws. She is practical and intelligent and decides using the integration of both emotion and intellect.
Alice on the other hand, represents the character of the youth, carefree, fast and rash yet is able to calculate the odds and risks. Her character in this film is a person who plunges into a relationship with Dan too soon despite UN addressed previous relationship issues. She is another character that represents the modern woman, who knows what she wants and is able to get it. She also knows when to stay as she is needed and when it is to leave and move on. Her personality is able to adapt to the challenges of life, resilient yet compassionate. She loves with all her heart but she always knows when to stop.
Larry’s character has this contemporary notion of a husband, who wanders too often when away from his wife. He is a kind of man who acknowledges himself as a married man, yet occasionally indulges into causal UN committed flings on the side. He believes that men are to be this way, tough and strong. What he is not aware of is the fact that he is weak and frail inside, UN able to contain his lust and hunger for more than what he already has. He is a classic example of man who thinks that occasional philandering is expected and that women ought to understand this as a part of married life adjustments.
The confrontation of Alice and Larry in the art gallery scene was somehow, Alice’s way of checking the validity of her doubts. She was making herself available and open in order to lure her prospects thus providing the chance for her to pry and examine. Her move was a scheme aimed at finding out whether Larry too had doubts about Anna, while at the same time finding out checking on the reactions of both Dan and Anna for any strange UN called for jealousy, which she wasn’t able to extract genuinely all the more strengthening her doubts. Larry’s actuations in this scene were merely caught up by intense attraction of Alice, portraying the weakness in his character and proving his inability to resist temptations of the loins. He was merely acting upon his vulnerability to the situation not realizing that such a situation would open an avenue for his ego to be tested.
Whereas much can be said about the differences in the break up of both couple, they are somehow the same in the sense that all character went through a great realization. Anna realized that she would not be able to live with Dan, and Dan realized that he couldn’t have Anna. Dan also realized that Alice was indeed the only person who loved him unconditionally, but it is too late for reconciliation. Larry also realized how much he loved Anna, and how much he is willing to sacrifice just to keep the marriage. Alice realized that she was at the loosing end, that vengeance is useless and pain is temporary. That time can be wasted if misery and pain will be dwelt upon, that the best solution of a broken heart is to move on and learn the lessons, What sets her breakup apart from that of Anna and Larry is the fact that the latter patched things up and started all over again, while Anna and Dan went on their way separately. Both couple’s break up also differs in the sense that with Larry and Anna, there was compromise while Dan and Alices’ was decisive and no second chances. Their break up also differs in the manner with which both partners are being confronted, since Larry’s approach was more of comparative while Alice’s approach was more presenting facts of Dan’s misgivings.
Grice, H. P. (1989) ‘Logic and conversation’, published as chapter 2 of Studies in the Way of
Words. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
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A Movie Analysis on Closer. (2016, Sep 25). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/a-movie-analysis-on-closer/