Wednesday 21 March 2018

Love's role play

Paul Whitington

Film Review: Like someone in love (No Cert, IFI, 109 minutes) 2 STARS

Director: Abbas Kiarostami Stars: Rin Takanashi, Tadashi Okuno, Ryo Kase, Reiko Mori

Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami doesn't like to make things too easy for his audience.

His 2010 film Certified Copy involved a running argument between a man and woman who may or may not be strangers, and, in Like Someone in Love, he toys again with the human compulsion towards role-playing.

Kiarostami is brilliant at transforming ordinary moments into extraordinary ones by using odd camera angles and shifting points of view, and Like Someone in Love's first scene is a perfect case in point. In a busy Tokyo bar, we watch couples and friends talking while listening to the plaintive moans of a disembodied voice. It belongs, we discover, to Akiko (Rin Takanashi), a young woman who's paying her way through university by working as a high-class call girl. After receiving a late night call, she travels to a quiet suburb and discovers that her latest client is an elderly and distinguished author and professor.

He forms a sort of paternal bond with Akiko, and when her violent and obsessive boyfriend begins stalking her, he assumes the role of her grandfather.

The first half is intriguing, tense and beautifully put together. But there's something smart-assy about the way Kiarostami toys with his audience, and this film's ending feels like an undergraduate joke.

Irish Independent

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