So I’ve just finished watching Closer. Hmm. What to say. I’m not quite sure why it took this long for me to watch it. I think it was partly due to the fact that when it opened people, who’d seen the original play by Patrick Marber, expressed very strongly their disgust of someone like Julia Roberts et al taking on these roles. Probably my first impressions of the film came from people who disliked it, not for the story but the vehicle it was delivered in, and that possibly put me off of the idea of seeing it… at least before I had the chance to read the play. Never got around to that so I thought it was time to take the plunge.
There’s no mistaking the brutal brilliance of the play/script. There are no empty words at all, everything is delivered with precision and on purpose. I can’t remember when I’ve seen Jude Law in a role where he’s not a sleaze ball of some kind, but he was certainly perfect for this role. And it was interesting to watch his character moving through from one end of the moral spectrum to the complete opposite in the course of the story. Julia Roberts I’ve never liked… but she was, if not brilliant, at least believable. Although very much the underdog in every scene. Natalie Portman (again!) was the backbone of the story in my opinion. She has the ability to portray sincere vulnerability, without it eclipsing her strength. Really a great performance. But I think everyone would agree that Clive Owen is the absolute core of this film. He is the mirror through which we are forced to look at ourselves as the primal creatures that we are. Raw, bruised, dark and true. He makes the whole movie for me.
With wonderful performances from everyone I think the movie still manages to be more than just the sum of the actors’ success. There’s this atmosphere… a constant build up, a constant need to know more, a constant craving for… the truth of us as humans? It’s hard to give rave reviews to any film right after seeing Brokeback – which is still in my heart – but here’s definitely one adaptation which didn’t disappoint in the end, like I was afraid it would. I should have trusted Mike Nichols more.
Have you ever seen a human heart? It looks like a fist wrapped in blood….