Like Someone In LoveHD
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Fresh from the triumph of his Tuscany-set Certified Copy (NYFF 2010), master filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami travels even further afield from his native Iran for this mysteriously beautiful romantic drama filmed entirely in Japan. Like Someone in Love revolves around the brief encounter between an elderly professor (the wonderful 81-year-old stage actor Tadashi Okuno, here playing his first leading role in a film) and a sociology student (Rin Takanashi) who moonlights as a high-end escort. Dispatched to the old man by her boss— one of the professor’s former students— the young woman finds her latest client less interested in sex than in cooking her soup, talking, and playing old Ella Fitzgerald records (like the one that gives the film its allusive title). Eventually, night gives way to day and a tense standoff with the student’s insanely jealous boyfriend (Ryō Kase); but as usual in Kiarostami, nothing is quite as it appears on the surface. Are these characters— who conjure in one another the specters of regret and roads not taken— meeting by chance, or is it fate? Is this love, or merely something like it?
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 88
- Fresh: 72
- Rotten: 16
- Average Rating: 7.2/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Rotten: There are some limited rewards in seeing the consequences and complexities that result from the characters' deceptions and assumed roles, but in the end the film is unsatisfying.
Fresh: The latest small, perplexing masterpiece from the Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, who in recent years has chosen the path of a world director.
Fresh: Masterful filmmaking bridges a few gaps in the narrative.
Fresh: There is love, the movie tells us, then there is love.
Different Shades of Love
This film captures two kinds of love; possessive love and protective love. Ryo Kase (Noriaki) embodies possessive love through control and anger. Tadashi Okuno (Takashi Watanabe) embodies protective love through the act of being paternal. The simple by-chance encounter allowed Akiko to receive the type of love she was searching for, protective and open.
Not Kiarostami's best
There are films that have endings which leave the viewer completing the film in their mind. On the other hand, this film, while having moments that break your heart, feels like it runs out of ideas, and just decides to stop.
Not For The Casual Moviegoer
No clear story with an ending that will surprise you of its abruptness. Unlike most movies, where the plot is jammed down your throat, Kiarostami simply serves this wonderful meal to you. You have to chew it, taste it, and swallow it on your own.