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Criterion Collection: Like Someone in Love [Blu-ray] [Import]

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Format: Subtitled, NTSC, Import
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: May 20 2014
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00IGK6TH4
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Product Description

Like Someone in Love (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray + DVD)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Very high bit rate. Nice case. I like this movie.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The story takes place in Japan, the cast and the language are Japanese. And this is only the second work from the highly acclaimed and admired Mr.Kiarostami that was made outside his native country Iran (the first one was "Certified Copy", another remarkable work-of-art). When it comes to the highly confusing --and also very magical-- world of human psyche, very few film makers are as perceptive and discerning as Mr. Kiarostami, especially when the issue is the human relations... This story has a very unusual triangle and every detail of the three individual's emotions, actions, and reactions are revealed as objectively and clearly possible.

Should not be missed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9d27e378) out of 5 stars 19 reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d2a1dc8) out of 5 stars A Film of Moods and Confinement May 5 2014
By Dr. Laurence Raw - Published on
Format: Blu-ray
Anyone expecting the classical forms of plot and characteization in this film will be sadly disappointed. LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE has a minimal plot - a young student Akiko (Rin Takanashii), who may or may not be a prostitute, visits the home of elderly writer Takashi Watnabe (Tadashi Okuno); an affection develops between them, even though no physical contact takes place. Watnabe encounters Akiko's fiancé Noriaki (Ryô Kase), and convinces him that the two are related: Noriaki finds out that Watnabe is lying, and comes to his apartment and smashes a window, Abbas Kiarostami's fiocuses more on shifting moods - the sad resignation of Akiko as she goes about her business, neither enjoying nor appreciating it; the blank face of the cab-driver who takes her to Watnabe's apartment; the wistful looks of Watnabe as he looks at Akiko; for him she might be both desirable yet also an object of regret for his own lost youth. Kiarostami refuses to give us the security of explaining his characters' motivations; he leaves it up to us to make our own decisions. Comprised of long close-ups interspersed with shot/reverse shot sequences, the film is more focused on what is not said, rather than the dialogue. What gives LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE its true freshness is the quality of its visual imagery:: the film is chock-full of prison images: we see the protagonists sitting in Watnabe's car through the windscreen, the world outside reflected in the class; the bright lights of Tokyo streets fade into a blur as the yellow cab drives through seemingly endless long and straight boulevards; Akiko is seen sleeping in Watnabe's bed through the frosted glass of the bedroom door; while Akiko and Watnabe exchange their dialogue in the confined spaces of Watnabe's apartment or Watnabe's car. Through such techniques Kiarostani shows us how the characters are prisoners both of themselves - and their inability to disclose their feelings - and the urban environment, which confines them both night and day. The denouement is both unexpected and, in terms of the film's thematic preoccupations, quote shocking: by smashing Watnabe's window, Noriaki both literally and figuratively tries to break the prison-like atmosphere. But there is a sad irony here; although we see the window breaking ,we do not see any resolution as far as the characters are concerned. The title, and the Ella Bitzgerald song that is heard regularly on the soundtrack, are likewise ironic: the characters can never fall in love, but they merely act "like someone in love".
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d2a4288) out of 5 stars Playing To Type: How Could The Japanese Be So Unemotional Yet Project Such Potent Feelings? June 18 2014
By AliGhaemi - Published on
Format: Blu-ray
For many Like Someone In Love will be a boring film to watch, but others are about to be engrossed by characters, their stories, interactions and even a drive through Tokyo. Or just be fascinated by the director's style. Or love the outside of main character Akiko (played by Rin Takanashi) and her appearance and hate her dilemma and inconsiderate duplicity. Or be engulfed in utter dismal sorrow at the treatment of Akiko's grandmother (played by Kaneko Kubota), which in terms of sheer emotional sadness is second only to Tomi Hirayama's life and death in Tokyo Story. In Tokyo Story too, the grandmother talks to a grandchild who does not hear or listen. Here is a film that in turn will induce absurdity, embarrassment, squirming, love, lust, hate, loathing, discomfort and pity.

Akiko is a typical Tokyo girl. She is from Fukuroi in Shizuoka. She is pretty, has a fiancé and is ostensibly in the city attending university. She, however, leads a surreptitious existence. We know this soon enough because we quickly put two and two together based on her conversation with her fiancé Noriaski (played by Ryo Kase) and the persons she shares a table with, a manipulative and filthy Hiroshi (played by Denden) and Nagisa (played by Reiko Mori).

Foreign directors in Japan could go one of two ways. It could be a Lost in Translation [Blu-ray] (Sofia Coppola - Grade: A) or a Map of the Sounds of Tokyo (Isabel Coixet - Grade: C-). Incidentally, look for sequences here in Tokyo and Yokohoma including Lumine Est in Shinjuku and several stores like Sweets Paradise, the entrance to Daisan Keihin Road and the Aoyama Book Centre. This is not Adrift in Tokyo yet the drive sequence in Tokyo at night is so utterly commonplace and yet simultaneously so pivotal and thought-provoking. How could one not grade Like Someone In Love more like the former film than the latter?
As the film opens Akiko is sitting in a pub heard but not seen. This is the first of many intrigues in a story where most things are implied and perceived and not spelt out for us. Then we see manipulation and deceit in multiple back-and-forths. The story unfolds in real-time as a peculiar drama in which patience is a necessity. Should one persevere the film literally makes an art form of making the viewer guess what is going on now and what will come next. Images are seen as reflections, one overhears conversations being conducted off-camera and one listens for the consequences without actually seeing the incidents' instigators.

There are a few sequences of levity as with Akiko's interaction with Watanabe's neighbour and the latter person's with her brother. The earlier almost-monologue itself is delivered with breathless conviction. Speaking of which, each of the admittedly few cast members exudes an amazing ability to make the acting look easy when it is anything but. After all, it is anything but given that the character-driven focus and a lack of special effects and graphics will have to hold our attention. Yet, they do and at length. Ryo Kase, in particular, delivers such a convincing performance that I for one could not have foreseen after seeing him in Honey & Clover. He might as well not have been an actor in a film, but a boyfriend being lied to by a woman in his real life ("I am not lying to you," she assures him as she lies to him) and deceived as usual making Akiko a shameless wench in more than one way. She plays it straight as the uncaring female type while Noriaski is as bewildered as any man who has lost a woman to dishonesty. Make no mistake about it. Like Someone In Love's honesty and cruelty lies in showing Akiko as a casual deceiver as she only outwardly frets to not be one or be unhappy about herself and her actions. Her acting is natural and matter-of-fact perhaps practiced from the life of a modern woman.

The film, however, disappoints many with its ending. It is just not there and like the rest of this piece of art leaves much to the imagination of the audience. Using the word `piece,' however, might be apropos given what the director likely wanted to convey at the end. Include in the disappointed group this writer. Likely a decade ago the joke would have been that the director and studio ran out of money. A more likely culprit is the Zen of Like Someone In Love. Zen is a Chinese Buddhist school that emphasized the now above all else. Earlier in the film Watanabe sings `whatever will be will be' and alternately counsels Noriaski to let it go and advises Akiko to stop fretting and let things happen. As it turns out he is ignored and is wrong (in that sequence), but the director and writer's script direction is based upon emphasizing the present moment at every turn. Amazing as it is Like Someone In Love falls short because it assumes too much and does not give us a definite ending. The DVD extras are impressively illuminating and interesting. There the director speaks of his vision, why he deliberately creates misunderstandings and how he deprives the viewers of their vaunted scenes in order to create a deeper reality. His praise of his crew and unscripted blurting out of "to hell with American cinema" for what it has done are instructive in the context he states them. Moreover, Akiko hints at an available alternate ending, while Kiarostami casually demonstrates that the actors were not given advance scripts to review or read.

Like Someone In Love is quite impressive in another regard. As mentioned, the grandmother is never properly seen, but even with the Japanese and the infinite capacity to sadden, her part is dismal. She is an old woman in a strange town longing for love and family having left her infirm husband behind for a day only to connect and bond and what happens instead is as sad as anything one could see. The build-up is masterful. Akiko's cruelty to, among others, the older generation and the latter's infinite patience is indeed alternately reminiscent of Tokyo Story (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray + DVD) and Yasujiro Ozu The Only Son (The Critereon Collection) DVD and even more cruel because it is so easily rectifiable and generational. Kudos goes to the direction and cinematography which depict such loneliness all around in a metropolis of thirteen million. It should be noted - because of the earlier emphasis on the Japanese sensibility of the film - now that the story and direction come courtesy of an Iranian in this Franco-Japanese co-production, which makes it related to one of Japan's most controversial films In the Realm of the Senses (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray].

Akiko is a beautiful woman with such an ugly life, behaviour and personality, except that is how it is usually, isn't it?
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d226eb8) out of 5 stars Really liked this movie Oct. 21 2014
By Baldjohn - Published on
Verified Purchase
Really liked this movie. Interesting characters and lovely story. So many different emotions conveyed through the lens of the camera on the faces of the various people. And the curious ending produces lots of conversational energy afterwards. Would gladly watch it again.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d249030) out of 5 stars Worth it July 12 2014
By an earful - Published on
Format: DVD
This film itself has such a thoughtful, humane and emotional draw. It is definitely worth seeing, buying and re-seeing.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d249378) out of 5 stars A slice of a crazy life June 8 2014
By Mark Novak - Published on
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I love this movie. Professor type gets himself involved in a not win type triad relationship. Behavior is so realistic you feel you can reach through the screen and touch these people. Adult situations but no hot scenes, Just life going on and you wonder all the time is there was a better way for these people who seem to deserve more.