Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Punch-Drunk Love or is love really that simple?

What began as a strange story of a man who was sitting on a lonely desk in the corner of a big garage space, dressed in the most awkward blue suit imaginable, and having a shy and nervous conversation on the phone about a frequent flyer miles promotion on healthy food products, turned out to be one of the most delicately told love stories that I have seen on the big screen (or the smaller laptop screen). And when I say a “love story”, don’t automatically image any of the thousands insipid tales of a boy-meets-girl and boy-marries-girl-at-the-end, and all told in a painfully predictable manner. It wasn’t this.
Well, to begin with, this story was not really told in the sense of narrated through action. It was rather painted on the screen. The motion was so minimal that almost every frame looked liked a frozen section of a big three-dimensional canvas, at first very zoomed in, showing only a small initial detail of the picture, but then slowly zooming out to show the whole picture. The colors used were also minimal – blue and white, blue and red, some black, but just enough to underline the brightness of the rest. And think the classical shades of these colors – basic but vibrant, simple but powerful. There was also this incredible motion in the stillness – an illusion that makes you see the movement of the hand that was painting all this. To add up to the beauty of it all, this sense of motion was mostly conveyed through sound – also very minimal, isolated and often un-tuned tones at the beginning, that slowly built up to a harmonious crisp clear melody towards the end.