Tuesday, January 04, 2011
#22: 500 Days of Summer
The character that will surely impress you most in 500 Days of Summer if you're a guy is Summer Finn ( Zooey Deschanel)- someone who in her childhood could cut her beautiful tresses and feel nothing. The character that will surely impress you if you're a woman is Tom Hansen ( Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who works at a greeting card company as a writer of trite lines but really wishes to be an architect.This, as the movie informs you in the beginning is not a love story.
Summer and Tom hit it off well at work and are soon spending all their spare time at book, furniture and coffee shops without really entering into the nomenclature of a 'relationship'. And that's because Summer very clearly outlines that she 'isn't very comfortable being anyone's girlfriend or for that matter anyone's anything.' Tom, on the other hand, is smitten by Summer and can't wait to be by her side at all times. He has to perennially hold himself back while being with Summer in letting her know what he really feels for her because for Summer this is not love. With this as the essence of the movie, director Marc Webb ( this is his first mainstream Hollywood movie) takes us through the 500 Days of Tom spent with Summer.The ploy of a narrator who goes back and forth between these 500 days and gives us a background to the story is a masterstroke in a movie that has a theme that has been explored umpteen times before but never told so stylishly. There are some innovative techniques of storytelling exploited by the screen-writers that coupled with some slick editing make 500 Days of Summer a delightful watch. Set against the backdrop of the city of L.A, the movie tingles you with it's simplicity, makes you anticipate it's twists and warmly hugs you as a viewer as it moves from scene to scene.
The casting of these young lead actors who put in excellent performances adds a fresh dimension to the movie which also includes pleasantly surprising twists in what is a simple romantic comedy and reminds you of the kind of fare Woody Allen could churn in his heyday. In another similarity, the movie also does a segment of scenes from classics such as The Seventh Seal - another Woody Allen trademark. But that is to take nothing away from Marc Webb who excels in the craft of story-telling in this movie with help from his writers Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber.
500 Days of Summer is the kind of movie that will impress you whether you've been in love, spurned in love or even if you've never believed in love. Because while it might not be a love story, it is a very very impressive story about love.