In this film, it was shown that women can be as powerful as men in relationships. The strength of women is clearly shown when they manipulate men to do achieve what they want in a relationship. The film also shows that women exert their power in romantic relationships by choosing to do what they want, whether that means loving their partner or hurting them. The movie to be analyzed in this paper is Closer, starred by Julia Roberts as Anna, Natalie Portman as Alice, Jude Law as Dan and Clive Owen as Larry.
Larry and Anna are lovers, and so are Alice and Dan.
In a photo shoot, photographer Anna takes pictures of Dan, and Dan, being a flirt at that time, and also was in a relationship with Alice, felt a sudden attraction to Anna. Anna, on the other hand, felt the same way, too. During the photo shoot and minutes before Alice arrived to fetch her boyfriend Dan, Anna and Dan kissed.
It was the start of an affair (Ebert 155). Dan did his usual pranks by chatting through the Internet with a random guy he met at a chat room. He pretended to be a girl, and that his name is Anna.
He set up the guy to meet up with “her” at an oceanarium just for fun. Anna, coincidentally, was there at the oceanarium where the random guy actually went. The guy’s name is Larry, and together they got married (Ebert 154). During the whole time of marriage, Dan and Anna were still seeing each other since they are still having an affair. When Larry discovered this, they broke up. Larry, on the other hand, was heartbroken so he had to drink and go to strip clubs to forget. Alice went back to being a stripper, so they saw each other at the bar.
Larry was convinced that he had met Alice before, and did everything he could do to be convinced that Alice is indeed the partner of the guy who stole his wife. They eventually had a one night stand (Ebert 155). . Larry could not still get over his wife, so he pleaded Anna to have sex with him for the last time and then he will never bother Anna and Dan anymore. Anna agreed to this. Dan discovers it, and could not forgive Anna. Anna, then, returns to Larry, while Dan tries to get back with Alice. Alice returned to her old self.
At the end of the film, it will be shown how much deception and lies the movie has because Alice’ real name is Jane Jones. She was cheated on, but she lied to all of them in the end (Ebert 155). Cheating Women and Men in “Closer” Alice, one of the protagonists of the story for example, was not necessarily strong, but it is safe to say that she is still a strong woman for being capable of masking her weakness by deceiving people that she is strong. How Alice exhibited strength was not when she tried to get even with Anna but when she first met Dan. Dan was a stranger who brought her to the hospital because she was hit by a cab.
Alice, at that time, came from England and the vehicles in the British traffic system run in a reverse manner compared to the US traffic system. Because she was used to it looking at her left before crossing the street, she was hit by a cab which came from her right. Dan, the stranger, came to her rescue and brought her immediately to the nearest hospital. While waiting for her turn, they exchanged some information about themselves which were limited to why Dan was smoking cigarettes and why Alice was not looking at the right direction. Their conversation at the hospital was a typical conversation between two strangers.
During that time, Dan was just a typical gentleman who did not necessarily impress Alice – the woman who was too strong to be impressed by a stranger (Ebert 155). It was not until they rode a bus together when Alice realized that they had some sort of connection. They were talking about aphorisms when Alice realized that she was already having fun with Dan. The conversation was smooth, unpredictable, realistic and exciting although they did not talk about literally exciting. The connection between them was enough to keep them talking to each other.
Dan and Alice soon enter in a relationship but Dan flirts with Anna, an American photographer. The two eventually have an affair, which Larry, Anna’s partner, soon learns about. After a number of plot twists, Larry and Alice also soon have an affair, which leaves all characters cheating on one another. Larry and Anna soon part ways, but Larry convinces Anna one last time that they meet again. Anna reveals her meeting with Larry to Dan who takes it very badly. The film ends with the revelation that Alice has been lying to Dan about her real name from the very first time that they met (Ebert 155).
The film shows that women can have power over men as they choose to follow their desires. Anna crushes Larry’s heart when she reveals her affair with Dan which has been going on for about a year. Larry ferociously asks the details of Anna’s sex life as if to masochistically cherish her betrayal. This scene exhibits the fact that women tilts the balance of power to their side in a relationship when they follow what they really want even if it means destroying the relationship altogether. In a way, “Closer” shows that cheating can be a way of empowering women and exploiting the weakness of men – pride.
While cheating and deceit are shown to be valid ways to express the power of women in relationships, they are also shown to be a double-edged sword. Both Anna and Alice feel discontent in themselves as they cheat to hurt the men they loved. Both strived to heal their wounded pride but in the end only succeeded in hurting all the people involved. This double-edged sword is clearly expressed by Todd McCarty, a reviewer of the film for the Variety website. He says that as the characters of the film exhibit their desires, they also brutally change their hearts.
Characters generate a lot of hate from each other as they honestly face each other’s cheating secrets (McCarthy 3). What’s really striking about this film is how it clearly shows the complexity of romantic relationships and the important role women play in them. A relationship is not a simple matter of a guy falling in love with a girl and vice versa. People all around them are always involved in the relationship no matter what happens. As outside forces influence what happens in a romantic relationship, women are forced to study their options and review the state of their relationship.
Romantic relationships are opportunities for women to really consider what they want and the best way to get it. In a way, getting stuck in a single romantic partner is equal to cheating yourself. Nikitta Foston, a writer for BNET interviews cheated couples in one of her articles discussing why women cheat. One of the people interviewed thinks that men have a sense of ownership for the bodies of their women. It’s extremely difficult for them to accept cheating because they feel that the bodies of the women belong to them (Foston 2).
More and more problems arise as men struggle to keep women from choosing what they really want in a relationship. In the film, Larry violently confronts Anna when he learns that she cheated on him. He wants to learn all the details of her cheating because he thinks that Anna’s body, in a way, belongs to him. He seems to want to own even Anna’s reasons for choosing Dan instead of him. All the characters in the film “Closer” are cheaters, liars, and full of deceit. However, it’s also not fair to think that they didn’t love each other.
Dan, Anna, Alice, and Larry all loved their respective partners at some point in time. All the hate in their relationships only seem to stem from the fact that they want to keep each other forever even though that is virtually impossible in the context of the film. Robert Burney calls this kind of love “toxic love” because partners are obsessed or addicted to each other, which leads to the destruction of other people’s lives. According to him, true love as opposed to toxic love, is not a painful obsession. It’s not constricting and isolating. Toxic love actually fuels manipulation and dishonesty.
In the context of the film, we can even say that the desire of characters to keep their partners end up fueling their partners’ desire to cheat (Burney 10). Although toxic love is restricting, the film shows that women can use such a setup to use their power in a relationship. When they feel isolated from their lover, they can simply look for other men and cheat. They are exerting their power in this manner just by following their heart’s desire. The results may be devastating, like Larry’s anger toward Anna, but it is surely a way to get what you want and be yourself.
Conclusion Women can express their power in romantic relationships by following their true desires. The film “Closer” tackles the issue of cheating and how women express their power by cheating on their partners. Men are also cheating in the movie, and it was shown that women can match the freedom of men in cheating. It was clearly shown in the film that both men and women wish to protect their pride when they cheat. When a person feels powerless in a romantic relationship, he may turn to cheating as a way to show that he still has power over the other person.
It is kind of a bleak view of romantic relationships, but it is certainly valid. It seems that men and women are always testing their power against each other by their unspoken desire to cheat. The best message of the entire film in relation to the role of women in society is that women don’t have to be stuck to their romantic partners. Romance is a product of passion, love and understanding. Without these factors, then love assumes a “toxic” form that is harmful to all parties involved. Women must choose what they really want in a romantic relationship in order for them to be free.
Even freedom comes with a price though, because cheating will necessarily hurt all the people involved. Women who cheat can derive pleasure from it temporarily, but they may be left with nothing but a feeling of disappointment in the end. When love is gone, it is gone, whether it is true love or toxic love. In the end, although a woman can exert her power in a relationship through cheating, she may feel empty when the romance ends. The movie is then a perfect example of how liberating these times are for women, and how freedom is already being practiced by a lot of women who are in control.
Cite this Film Analysis: Closer
Film Analysis: Closer. (2016, Sep 22). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/film-analysis-closer/