Told through a looping, non-linear narrative from each of the characters' points of view, the film reconstructs the stories of a Yugoslav hit man, his former lover and her police officer boyfriend, as their paths cross in New York.
A narrator introduces several characters as we watch events unfold from various vantages: Vanya is a Yugoslavian, adrift after his country's breakup. He's a hitman, now in New York. Anna is a physician, European, in New York after volunteer work in Bosnia. Dirk is a policeman, Anna's boyfriend, seemingly on temporary leave. Vanya's on what's to be a simple job, no violence, an exchange in a hotel. He arrives to find a dead body. He takes the case he's to pick up. Has he been set up? A murderer seems to be right behind him. Anna, in the hotel to see a patient, becomes his hostage while Dirk waits for her outside, ignorant of the deaths nearby. Can Dirk find Anna? What else is going on? Written by
I don't write reviews but decided to make an exception here. I saw "Love" first at the Tribeca festival, intrigued by a low-budget approach to the ambitious story. I liked it then but had I given it stars right after the screening, it would've been 8. A big plus to me was that I could not predict where the story would go and where it would end up. This happens rarely, as I see 15 movies a week, and in most cases know by the 10th minute everything that will happen till the end (just a reminder how stale most movies are nowadays). "Love" is original, and the retelling of the stories from different point-of-views is excellent, not gimmicky, as it was intrinsically linked to the stories itself. The characters are well fleshed-out, multidimensional, (not two-dimensional simplistic cartoon-types - hint: "serious" Hollywood movies) most impressive was the director's ability to make them all fragile human beings, in spite of bad or even horrible things some of them do. A nice film with great atmosphere, I thought then. As days passed however I couldn't get the haunting images out of my head. Recently I saw the film again during it's short run in NY, and liked it even more. The film works on so many different layers, it's astonishing. "Love" can also be read as political allegory, with its foreigners from neglected nations stuck in NY. I would call it a postmodern noir that quotes the conventions of the genre, as well as cinema history. It does so in an elegant and unpretentious manner, effortlessly and effectively switching from thriller to comedy to tragedy-- and still doesn't take itself too seriously. Highly original and strongly recommended.
14 of 17 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?