Sunday, October 14, 2018

What's Next On My List? Closer

I am still torn when it comes to this movie. I have now seen it three times at very different stages of my life and I think for the first time I get it, or, to be more exact, it made me understand what lesson I can take away from it.

It is the story of four people whose life keeps intertwining over the span of a couple of years, as lies keep them tangled together.

I paid special attention to the men in this story this time around. They are shown as the two sides of the same coin, really, one being over sensitive and the other a brute force that comes in an smashes everything in its way. There was one sentence in particular that stayed with me, when Larry tells Anna that she is pushing him away because she thinks "she doesn't deserve happiness". When I first saw the movie I was perhaps even too young to understand why people cheat, or even try to understand that there is usually an emotional and a psychological reason behind it. I resented these characters, and I was not specifically looking for the romantic comedy ending, I just simply hated the fact that these people defined their feelings as 'love'. Because to me this wasn't and still isn't love. What it really was is, I believe, at least when looking at Dan and Anna: self-sabotage. They both did manage to find someone who complimented all their little stupid things, and still refused it, still fought for what they cannot have. Now, for the first time since I ever saw the movie I liked Larry, the brutish, supposedly evil man who manipulates Anna into getting back together with him. I liked him because he acted out of pain: he did not cause Dan harm until he did it to him. And even after that he decided to put Anna's well being in front of everything, because even if she is getting back with him out of pity, or something like that, he just knew that the one who would make her happy isn't the weak romantic Dan, but he is. And I honestly believed that after seeing this movie so many times, that Anna will learn to be happy with Larry and he will treat her right, in a sense, the end justified the means.
And now let us turn to Dan. I do not wish to further analyze the girls for one simple reason: I do not think the story was really about them. I find that Dan tried to be so much more than Larry, to be romantic, and caring, a dreamer, he is someone who Alice never had in her life, but ultimately he isn't that person. This is shown on different levels. First, he doesn't smoke but picks it up again, then he starts wearing contact lenses, he cares about his appearance in a way that he did no before. Third, he continuously compares himself to Larry, he wants everyone to know how much better he is just because of his sensitive side. And in the end, he hits Alice, he becomes worse than he was to start off with. He had lost the fight to be the more caring person when he became physical with Alice. Larry might have been rude and brutish indeed, but he never said something and then acted differently, as opposed to Dan, nor did he ever lay hands on the girls, even if he did not hide his intention of it. However, but taking action that way, Dan lost the battle of who is truly 'better' in his sense of the word.

"- Why did you leave?
- Problems with a male.
- Boyfriend?
- Kind of.
- And you left him, just like that?
- It's the only way to leave. 'I don't love you anymore. Goodbye.'
- Supposing you do still love them?
- You don't leave.
- You've never left somebody you still love?
- No."

I do not know what exactly the moral of the story was, what I do know that having grown quite a bit since I first ever saw this movie, I just know that there is a very complicated psychology behind someone who is able to cheat on someone, and those who desire it as well. That is probably one of the reasons why Dan is not such a good guy after all, see, Larry cheated too, but he did not try and hide behind a mask of caring and love, but admitted that what he had done was wrong. Dan essentially went around and hurt everyone and still felt like he was the one who was victimized. One can argue with me all they want, but Larry was a simple man, who is sometimes driven by what is in his pants, it is just that easy. As sad as it is, for some people cheating comes as second nature, as they are able to differentiate sex and love. Dan's character wasn't like that, that is why it was a much larger betrayal on his part, at least in my opinion. Nonetheless, re-watching the movie showed me some new aspects of the story, and I think I got away from it a much different lesson then I did the first two times I watched and will the next time I do again.

Watch it? I just don't know how to answer that question. I waited a long time for it and I know I just didn't get it the first time. But it remained with me: I have read other reviews that showcased that it is almost impossible to pinpoint what is good about the movie, but it stays with you, you think about it, you reanalyze it, and to me the fact that I want to re-watch it every now and then is proof that perhaps the good elements are just so f*cking good that it shadows anything that might not questionable. If you haven't seen it yet, I would give it a go, if you'll like or not, I cannot say.

Until the next item on my list!
_ _ _ _ _ _ 

Dan - Jude Law
Larry - Clive Owen

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