Thursday, 10 June 2010

500 days of Summer

So I've literally just watched this film (on Blu-ray from Lovefilm, got to love that service, so many high definition films!), and I just had to write about it on this blog.

500 days of Summer I could tell from the start was a film with a different idea about what a film should be. Right from the beginning you are told that this is a story of boy meets girl, but this is not a "love story", immediately telling you that it is not going to be a clich├ęd story about love, and it certainly does nothing to disappoint you on that front.

First thing we see is actually the main character just after the relationship has ended. The 500 days of Summer in the title refers to 500 days since the main character met the girl called Summer, and we are thrown in at around the middle of this period, which the film conveniently lets you know by a screen telling you which day of the 500 we are viewing.

Now this is key to the film. As I just said, we are thrown in around the middle of this time, and the film is constantly jumping around the timeline, jumping from within the relationship, to after the relationship, to towards the end of the relationship, gradually revealing how the relationship developed and ended, but unlike most films, doing it all at the same time.

It may sound confusing, but it actually works really well, and really kept the story fresh, whilst also leaving you wondering about the inbetweens, how the parts you are seeing link together.

This was not the only unconventional technique the movie used. There were a couple of split screen moments, once briefly used to indicate two characters far apart at the same moment, but the second time was a very clever use of what the character expected to happen, playing alongside reality at the same time. It worked wonderfully with the viewer constantly flicking from his ideal imagined view to the reality and how it is all going horribly wrong for him. It is a very clever technique and is used brilliantly in this film.

Technically 500 days of Summer is an unorthodox film, but it worked beautifully on screen, and the break from convention is a refreshing way to tell the story. The story itself is unconventional, and certainly kept me enthralled, and also got me laughing out loud at some genuinely rather funny parts. I think overall it is a brilliant piece of cinematography, and is worth watching both for the different approach to telling a narrative, and for the funny, refreshing, and interesting story itself.

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