Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Closer

'A Clinical Observer of the Human Carnival'

I've just seen Closer, starring Natalie Portman, Julia Roberts, Jude Law and Clive Owen. It's a film about the superficiality and need of human relations, played out with adultery and lust between two couples.

Clive Owen plays Larry, an emotionless, carnal dermatologist, who is unembarrassed to pursue what he wants, ruthless in his approach. He is countered by Dan, played by Jude Law, a novelist and journalist. Ultimately, Larry's unfaltering ruthlessness wins over Dan's romantic weakness - the alpha male succeeds in his primeval nature.

I was interested to note the themes of science versus literature, medicine versus humanities, clinical detachment and male versus female. The characters' roles in their lives - a photographer, dermatologist, stripper and waitress - all represent the superficial; all apart from Dan, whose book fails, meaning he must return to writing obituries - which are prewritten, again representing superficiality. His attempt at genuinity fails as he bases his book on another, without searching it out for himself.

Closer is a great film, very gritty, realistic and raw. There are some brilliant performances by a great cast, and it is another example of a mainstream film which manages to catch some of the age old issues in medicine.

1 comment:

Giskin said...

Tz and I saw this when it first came out and I must say we were disappointed... We didn't warm to any of the characters and decided we couldn't care less what happened to them. I guess I didn't feel there was enough of a counterpoint to the superficiality: they all seemed shallow and selfish. Maybe West End cinema prices dampened our appreciation!