Like Someone in Love (NR)

Drama 109 February 15, 2013
By Scott Foundas
Like the torch song that lends it its title, Abbas Kiarostami’s Like Someone in Love is a sly, teasing riff on the heart’s irrational stirrings. But the film’s true spirit is even better encapsulated by “Training a Parrot,” an early 20th-century painting by the Japanese artist Chiyoji Yazaki that hangs on the living-room wall of the home of Takashi (Tadashi Okuno), a retired professor. On this evening, Takashi’s solitary routine is interrupted by the arrival of Akiko (Rin Takanashi), a Tokyo undergraduate who moonlights as a call girl. In the painting, a young woman in a kimono is seen teaching an attentive parrot to speak—or perhaps, as Akiko observes, it is the bird who is teaching the woman. Kiarostami frames Akiko in the foreground with the painting directly behind, her pose and manner uncannily duplicating that of the woman on the canvas, as if this century-old work were in fact her own portrait. Which, in Kiarostami’s world, could well be the case. The second fiction film Kiarostami has directed outside of his native Iran, Like Someone in Love takes on the feeling of a fated encounter between two people who evoke in each other the ghosts of their respective pasts and the possibility of new beginnings. Over the course of the film’s one evening and the following day, Takashi and Akiko cycle through various guises, each filling some mysterious void in the other, before the outside world intrudes. The movie’s sense of immutable desire resonates well after the lights have come up, as we continue to wonder if we have been witness to a love story or merely something like it.
Abbas Kiarostami Rin Takanashi, Tadashi Okuno, Ryo Kase, Aao Miyazaki Abbas Kiarostami Nathanaël Karmitz, Nathanaël Karmitz IFC


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