Like Someone In Love (12A)

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Review byJennifer Tate14/06/2013

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 109 mins

Like Someone in Love is a tender and touching drama about a young high-class escort who forms a connection with an elderly widower, but certain scenes in this quiet slow-burner feel overstretched and arguably unnecessary.

What’s it all about?
Written and directed by Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, Like Someone in Love stars Rin Takanashi as Akiko, a young sociology student in Tokyo who moonlights as a high-class escort at night. When Akiko’s grandmother travels to Tokyo to come and visit her, she tries her best to put off meeting her and then later visits the house of her latest client: the widowed and retired sociology professor, Takashi Watanabe (Tadashi Okuno).

The next day, Takashi gives Akiko a lift to university, where Takashi witnesses Akiko’s boyfriend Noriaki’s (Ryo Kase) volatile behaviour towards her. After Akiko goes inside, Noriaki spots Takashi and, believing him to be her grandfather, he walks towards him and steps inside the car, where they have a deep and meaningful conversation about Akiko. However, Noriaki soon grows suspicious of Akiko’s behaviour and her relationship with Takashi and before long, the hoax is discovered.

The Good
There are very few scenes in Like Someone in Love and this works wonderfully, with each of the scenes gently communicating both Akiko and Takashi’s nature and emphasising how their budding relationship forms over just two days. The minimalistic scenes showing their unique bond developing are beautiful to watch, but the standout scene has got to be when Noriaki steps inside the car and has a profound discussion about Akiko with Takashi, whom he believes to be her grandfather. As well as revealing Noriaki’s softer and more compassionate side, it also highlights Takashi’s increasing concern for Akiko and reveals Tadashi Okuno’s strong and subtle acting skills. The dramatic final shot of this stylishly shot film is also terrifically moving and completely unexpected.

The Bad
Unfortunately, Like Someone in Love can be awfully slow in parts and there’s a sense that certain scenes are overstretched and bloated, thanks to the fact that not an awful lot actually happens in the film. Because of this, certain parts feel unnecessary and the jokes that Akiko borrows from her friend to tell Takashi are meant to be endearing, but they ultimately fall flat and reveal an irritating side to Rin Takanashi’s character. The vibrant location of Tokyo is also underused, thanks to the majority of scenes being shot inside.

Worth seeing?
With its stylish cinematography and Tadashi Okuno’s wonderful performance, Like Someone in Love is rather touching, but its slow pace and minimalistic style won’t be for everyone.

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Content updated: 22/10/2018 07:33

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