Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Looper: The Second Time Around

To see my original review click here.

I had the chance to see Looper again on Sunday for a bargain price and I jumped at the opportunity. Looper is one of my favourite films of the year and I’ve been waiting in anticipation for the DVD, so to have the chance to see it again on the big screen for half the price of a normal ticket at my local university’s campus cinema - there was no thinking needed! 
However, seeing it again a month or so later has made me see it in a different way...
I appreciated it so much more for its beauty, it’s quietness and ability to still completely grip me the entire way through despite my knowledge of the outcome - a rare talent these days. And it is long too at almost 2 hours but it zips past as it has a tension that never wavers.
I was able to look deeper at the construction, the plot and the characters. Joe is such an interesting character, Young Joe particularly. He is the protagonist, indeed the narrator at the beginning; our way into this future world. And yet he we are rooting for a character who essentially isn’t good. We are both with and against him at the same time and I love those contradictions. It allows the audience to be pushed into viewing a more complex character, something modern audiences are rarely pushed to do nowadays. It forces us to re-examine how characters and plots are portrayed. 
I love how I don’t necessarily agree with him and yet Joe is the protagonist, the hero. It’s a rarity and adds an extra layer of depth to what is already a very clever and inspiring film to begin with. Add to that Old Joe and his evolved morals and values and Joe’s character as a whole gains a whole new dimension once again.
I appreciated the quiet moments, the cinematography and the emotions a whole lot more the second time around. Also the intricacy and the detail put in to making it feel so realistic. It’s set primarily in 2044 where “time travel hasn’t been invented yet” but in that future’s future it will have been and thus is affected. That’s only 30 or so years away and I could genuinely believe that that was a reasonably accurate portrait of the future. Yes, there are flying motorbikes and 10% of the population can is telekinetic, but the streets, clothes and cars are still reflections of the now and I could visibly imagine how things could progress to that point. It is possible. Which makes it feel all the more emotionally charged as it has truth to it. 
Of course there are flaws, as there are in every film. The time travel concept can never be flawless entirely, but it does awfully well swaying away from any potential holes in the plot and instead powers through with the emotion between a mother and son. 
Watching the film with students also changed my view a little, as they were much more vocal - ready to laugh or gasp more than most audiences. Because it is a really funny movie as well as being a clever action-packed science-fiction thriller. There is so much to it, I could easily watch it a few more times and see even more in it. And that’s why it works so well. The devil is in the details after all.
Looper is no longer one of my favourite films of the year. No. Instead, I consider it to be one of my favourite films to date.

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