“Closer” is made up of flawed yet interesting characters, and it’s what makes this a fascinating watch.
Released in 2004, the Mike Nichols-helmed “Closer” starred Natalie Portman, Jude Law, Julia Roberts, and Clive Owen as characters in a complicated romantic drama story. “Closer” was based on the award-winning play of the same name, which was written by Patrick Marber.
I’ve been mulling about “Closer” for more than a week now after re-watching it for the first time in years, and my impression remains the same. The way I see it, Alice Ayres (Portman), a stripper, served as a catalyst of sorts in the story. You see, had she not gone to London, she wouldn’t have met writer Dan Woolf (Law) who would later on become her boyfriend. Dan, in turn, wouldn’t have written a book about Alice and wouldn’t have met Anna Cameron (Roberts) who would be taking photographs of him for his book. Dan wouldn’t have strayed, unwittingly played cupid, and had Anna and dermatologist Larry Gray (Owen) meet. Their lives wouldn’t have gotten so entangled to the point that all four of them ended up unhappy, dare I say empty.
But Alice did, and so we all get to witness their stories play out in accordance to their decisions right before our very eyes.
The thing about the characters in “Closer” is that their decisions often appear to have been made on a whim, based on an overwhelming urge, that is, that emotion they label as love. It’s interesting because through this, the plot managed to lean closer towards something that is perhaps more believable. The characters are blunt to the point of being hurtful, all because they’re aiming to have something they desire. They are flawed but interesting all the same. The plot of “Closer” might have been a little too common but it’s the treatment, dialogue, and characters, more than anything, that made it so interesting to see. The way the four lead actors portrayed their roles were so convincing that they can and had managed to draw out from their audience different emotions for them. Some might even find themselves sympathizing (or empathizing, even) with them.
Though no explicit sexual scenarios were made in the film, there are certain snippets of dialogue that might surprise some for its vulgarity. Be as it may, one couldn’t really call it out because they were fitting to the scene that they were made. We also have to remember that these are private conversations often between two people, and as it is with private conversations of whatever nature, the things we say are often as raw as it could get. It’s for these things, then, that one needs to have an open mind when they watch “Closer” in order to appreciate its value.
All stills in this article were sourced from Ace Showbiz.
Like this article? Check out our articles from the Friday Movie Flashback series in the Lomography magazine!