Like Crazy: Movie Review

As I am writing this review there are some things I am going to blatantly put out there for you to know well in advance.
1. I have the song “Dead Hearts” (soundtrack of Like Crazy) on repeat.

2. I have just finished watching this movie for the 4th time.

3. I wish there was some way I could watch this movie again for the 1st time.

4. I am an emotional sap and sucker for movies which show love in its rawest form.

5. I am also realistic enough to know that there are two types of movies in the romance genre:

i) The movies that leave you dumbfounded at the enormity of how much two people can love each other and somehow always beat the odds in about 127 minutes screen time.

ii) Then the other type of movies which leave you gripping on to your heart and make you mash your teeth together and feel that unrequited love is probably the only love that exists in the real world. Period.

Like Crazy is ‘the other type of movie’.

I stumbled on to this movie in 2012. A year for me which marks a lot of unrequited emotions, long hauling stretches without any semblance of normal, perplexing situations, weird and wonderful people. While watching this movie I could somehow put all of this away. Far away. In some corner of my mind where nothing matters. For an over-thinker that is truly something.

Like Crazy is a 2011 American romantic drama film, shot with an inexpensive DSLR camera. Its budget did not exceed $250,000. The film won the 2011 Sundance Film Festival ‘Grand Jury Prize’. Already I am drifting away to what is not really important.

So anyway, this is the story of Anna and Jacob. This is the story of most young adults. People in love. People in long-distance love. It is the kind of movie which brings up things you have faced in your life or will most definitely in the future. Now that is something every other movie tries to portray. But what sets this film apart is the honesty in this couple which shines outright and blinds you to tears. Felicity Jones plays Anna, a British college student in Los Angeles who falls for an American, Jacob, played by Anton Yelchin. When the term ends for the summer, so does Anna’s student visa. They are well aware that the sensible thing would be for her to go home, and wait just a few months while she gets the cash to come back with the proper documentation. But a few months is a long time when you’re in your early 20s, so Anna and Jacob defy the visa law and with it follows a glorious summer of love and sex. It is a decision that affects the rest of both their lives.

It also leads you to wonder, what would have happened had she not broken the visa limit. But I will get to that later. Not right now, later.

Right from when Anna pours out her feelings to Jacob in a letter filled with the things you can only feel for someone you are crazily crushing on to appearing dignified, by using e.e. cummings and a post-script giving disclaimer that she isn’t a psychopathic nutcase. Anna’s parents bring comic relief and class to scenes that would otherwise be painful. The soundtrack to most scenes where no dialogue is required will leave you enthralled. These are moments that stay with you long after that phase of Anna and Jacob’s life has passed.

The rush of emotions felt by the two will sweep over you and leave you feeling absolutely frustrated and used up in a bittersweet way. The movie made me feel that you can never love someone enough. There’s always some part of you which is waiting to fall more in love with this person; oh and never, NEVER to underestimate this ‘part’.

When Anna is detained and unable to return to Jacob due to her visa issue, it brings an unwanted distance in a lovely 20-something fairy-tale romance. Here is when the movie gets so real, good God! When both of them, get involved in their careers, the missed calls due to time variations, the ache of not knowing what your other half is doing, all this growing like an elephant in the room.

With this starts the on-off relationship. Jacob once mentions that he just doesn’t feel like he is part of Anna’s life but he feels like he’s on vacation. Here is where Anna lets out the cat (or should I say elephant?) out of the bag. She suggests that they should try seeing other people when they are away. Although that upsets Jacob, deep down he knows he has considered it too.

Their relationship circle widens now. They are tangled more than ever in people they don’t love, but cannot leave. This movie is not about finding ‘The One’. If it was, this wouldn’t have happened. It also signifies that after falling in love for the first time, no matter how good or bad it was, you are never the same with anyone. So one night in the respite and lulls of physical and emotional temptations, Anna calls up Jacob and asks him to marry her.

For someone who doesn’t believe in love, that would be absolutely absurd considering they were both involved with other people. But then again, refer to point #4 stated ‘well in advance’.

The movie transcends further into how Anna and Jacob are still the same even after marriage. Here is when I thought about those tiny gifts they had exchanged over their first summer of love. For some reason I even noticed the very subtle changes in their appearances, behaviours, the phones they used. I thought about how much uncertainty they had laid in front of them back in that summer. And yet they got married. Shouldn’t the movie end now? At least that’s what is rationally supposed to happen.

But no, the movie extends further (I was so glad it did!). The movie does not end. It is this part of the movie I absolutely loved. It is not easy to please hopeless romantics and the skeptic pessimists. We will never be able to figure out what happens when Anna steps out of the shower. But we are free to dream about it. To wonder that life is a never-ending love story and all you got to do is live it out.

When you watch this film, you may feel like you’re eavesdropping rather than watching a movie. And I mean that in the best possible sense. Not every director can bring out such performances in actors whose unfamiliar faces we aren’t already in love with. Why was I not surprised when I found out that this movie was filmed without a script?

Only then can such untraditional beauty and rawness be achieved:

“I thought I understood it, that I could grasp it. But I didn’t, not really. Only the smudgeness of it; the pink-slippered, all-containered, semi-precious eagerness of it. I didn’t realize it would sometimes be more than whole, that the wholeness was a rather luxurious idea. Because it’s the halves that halve you in half. I didn’t know, don’t know, about the in-between bits; the gory bits of you, and the gory bits of me.”

Go. Devour.

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3 responses

  1. This movie is must be of some crazy lovers

    Like

  2. […] I sat down to re-watch his mini-series ‘The Beauty Inside’. Just as ‘Like Crazy‘ leaves me in a highly strung emotional daze, Drake’s mini-series collaboration with […]

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  3. […] a delightful combination of them all. Remember when they said Breathe In was the darker cousin of Like Crazy (the Drake Doremus movie that won at The Sundance Film Festival), well that really sums up […]

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