Tuesday, December 1, 2009

500 Days of Summer - A Review

I heard of this movie from a friend's blog and was interested in it. After watching it, I highly recommend it! This is one of those not-so-about-love movie that talks about love and it leaves a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

The movie was about Tom (Joseph-Gordon Levitt), a failed architect who made a living by writing cards and Summer (Zooey Deschanel), a free-spirited secretary. Tom believed in the traditional fate, destiny, true love package while Summer, having suffered through her parents' divorce, was very skeptical about love and wanted emancipation. The movie toogled between the past and the not-so past, telling stories between the two person. Then we saw the break up and how Tom tried to moved on. Tom never really got over Summer until he met Summer after she was married soon after the break up. The movie ended with Tom meeting a possible love interest, Autumn.

The plot of the movie is pretty much the cliche love story but I really love the new angle this movie portrayed. Guy meets girl, guy falls in love with girl, girl backs off, girl breaks up with guy, guy heart broken, guy get over girl, guy starts new life. Simple formula, and one very true to life formula. But this Indie movie really took the simple fact of life to a new level by the narration and the cinematography. The arrangement of the plot was superb! I love the way that the details such as the colour palette or the little details in the background tells the story. For instance, when Tom first made love to Summer, his world was surrounded by colourful things. There was even a dance scene ala Bollywood or HSM where the pedestrians danced to his happines.

But when he discovered that Summer was engaged, his world faded into black and white and eventually the whole scene turned into a charcoal drawing. I also love the part where the "expectation" and the "reality" scenes were placed next to each other to show the juxtaposition.

The narration of days with the drawing on the yellowish parchment also showed the passing of days with different scenery of summer and the flowers on the tree actually blossomed when Tom met new girl Autumn, signifying a possible new relationship.

Next on the praise list are the cast. Well, this movie is an independent production with virtually low or no budget. So the cast wasn't exactly star-cast. We have Joseph-Gordon Levitt who portrayed the cute sensitive guy who fell in love and was very very nice to Summer. Then he played the part of a broken hearted guy to perfection. He was angry, demotivated, but very true to himself nonetheless. Zooey Deschanel, on the other hand, sort of get type-casted into the typical free-spirited girl who lives like there is no tomorrow. Nonetheless she played the part pretty well. And she actually got me disliking her for getting in and out of Tom's life without caring how he felt.

Well, love is cruel, like it or not, but the movie actually portrayed those cruel parts of love and break up so well that I, as an audience, feel the characters enough to have sympathy but not angry at reality. Performances by Geoffrey Arend and Matthew Gray Gubbler as Tom's two best friends are also very good. But I so love Chloe Moretz who played Tom's little sister, Rachel. She was so young but she acted like an adult, giving Tom advices and helped him get over Summer.

Besides, one thing really good about Indie movies are the soundtrack. Like I said before, the cinematography is good. And the soundtrack went perfectly with it. I actually felt like I watched a 1 hour 30 minutes music video telling a story between a guy and a girl.

The songs are very nice ballads with styles like Lifehouse, Secondhand Serenade, Switchfoot... Not quite sure of the actual bands whose songs were used though.

I think I like this movie so much is because it depict true life so much. At the beginning of a relationship, it was about attraction and lusts. Then the first few weeks are always warm and sweet. You (in this movie, it is from Tom's perspective) see only the good things in everything he/she does. After the initial so-in-love phase, things start to be mundane and routine. After a few months, maintaining the relationship is a little strenous and suddenly one person pulls the plug. The first few weeks of the break up mess up pretty much everything in life. Then the realisation comes where the same happy scenes keep playing over and over again but now you see the flaws in it. That hesitation, the reluctant comment, the I-don't-care look... Next comes the phase where you think you got over him/her but actually you never really get over an ex. Also, you know that you don't stand a chance but you want to remain in contact and be friends. Until you meet someone new.

This movie tells the story exactly like that. No happily-ever-after endings. No lies. No pretentious kisses ans hugs. Not even fabulous clothes with dashingly dashing male actors or actresses oozing sexual appeals. Okay, Joseph- Gordon Levitt is handsome, but the Average Joe kind of handsome.

Ratings : 8.5/10. Highly recommended!! Those who have loved and broken up will know what I mean. Those who have yet to fall in love, this is a real-life research for you!!


Nicholas C said...

HAhahahah Twilight wut???

Ryanne said...

The trailer of Twilight sucks!!
I want to watch the movie so much, just to see how much they screwed up!!


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