In relationships you expect that you and your partner will never be as close to anyone else in the world as you are to eachother. However there are times when this physical closeness does not necessarily confer love, intimacy or commitment. Such complicated relationship dilemmas form the major themes explored by Mike Nichols in his film, Closer.
The story follows the lives of four characters who start out as strangers – Alice (Natalie Portman), Dan (Jude Law), Anna (Julia Roberts) and Larry (Clive Owen). Over several years we watch them become so much more, falling in and out of lust and love, while their lives become inextricably connected.
Closer explores all that is good and all that is bad within human relationships. However, it is not the good which is the focus of this film, instead along with the characters we are drawn to the bad side, sinking deeper and deeper until we find ourselves exploring the murky realms of human relationships. The film examines those things that we keep secret; the reasons we lie and betray; how we manipulate; and why the truth is sometimes not enough, and yet at other times proves to be too much to bear.
The movie is beautifully shot and features a beautiful stellar cast, but it is no glossy lightweight romantic drama. Given that it examines adult human relationships, the movie is dialogue rich and while not an action film the traditional sense, it is a people-driven drama which often surprises with its candour. The writing is honest and raw, allowing the actors to deliver very real, emotionally charged performances. Accompanied by some very fitting, achingly beautiful music performed by Jem and Damien Rice, this quality package is complete.
Just like in life, Closer reminds us that while we won’t always be guaranteed a happy ending, the journey itself is rewarding and one well worth taking.