Don’t be misled by the title of controversial Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami’s latest work Like Someone In Love (ICA Cinema and National Film Theatre) is not as you might expect a romantic comedy but a droll, elegant and playful movie exploring mistaken and assumed identities.
Set in Tokyo, the story centres on Akiko, a student juggling money problems exams, a visiting grandmother and a clinging boyfriend, who is reluctantly persuaded by her bar-proprietor boss to go and spend the evening with an elderly man, a writer of some importance. She expects him to want sex but things are not that simple.
Although this is a slim somewhat inconsequential tale, it is consistently absorbing and intriguingly ambiguous from beginning to end. Indeed this account of a brief, may be fateful encounter has a surpassing subtlety of expression and delicacy of tone even as it touches lightly but tellingly on a range of themes to do with relationships and age, truth and falsehood, adversity and acceptance.
The performances – some by first timers are naturalistic and engaging, but it is the sly script, exquisite visuals and elegant, imaginative direction that most impress.
In short this is a delicate but daring movie from a master of cinema which keeps us always wondering what is going to happen, as well as what it is about.Last modified: July 1, 2013