Rin Takanashi

review like someone in love

Editor’s Note: This review originally ran during the 2012 NYFF, but we’re re-running it now as the film opens in limited theatrical release. It’s impossible to understand who a person truly is upon first meeting them. Impressions can be made, based on the context of the meeting, but you can never know the true self that lies beneath the surface. In Abbas Kiarostami’s masterful Like Someone In Love, two very different people meet by chance, but within a 24-hour period, they discover more about each other and about themselves than either of them could have possibly fathomed. Kiarostami takes what would seem like a simple character study and, with his astute direction, morphs it into an incredibly well-executed work of art that is imbued with a palpable sense of unease. These two people are Akiko (Rin Takanashi) and Takashi (Tadashi Okuno). Akiko is studying biology in college and conflicted over whether or not to break up with her controlling boyfriend, Noriaki (Ryo Kase). She also works at an escort service. Takashi is an elderly man, working as a translator, who lives alone.



After turning heads and dividing opinions with his most recent feature, Certified Copy, maker of challenging though rewarding films Abbas Kiarostami is back with a new project, Like Someone In Love. This time around, the Iranian director is moving his focus to Tokyo, where he tells the tale of a confused young woman who develops a sort of friendship with an elderly college professor—a friendship which may or may not help her get her life on a better path, depending on your perspective. If that sounds vague, that’s because I’ve already caught this one when it was touring the festival circuit last year, and I can confirm that it is indeed the sort of film that raises more questions than it provides answers, much like Certified Copy. Though it does it by telling a story that’s more grounded in reality than that film. Seeing as the specifics of what this film is about are kind of up in the air, what sort of concrete things can definitely be said about it? Well, as the new trailer for the film shows, Kiarostami’s visual eye is as keen as ever, and the way he films the lights of Tokyo reflecting off of windows and in his characters’ eyes is just gorgeous to look at. And the actor who plays the aging professor, Tadashi Okuno, is about as charming as a human being gets in this one. Look at him. He’s like a little gnome grandfather out of a storybook or something. You just […]


In Certified Copy, Abbas Kiarostami explored two people casually discussing their lives, revealing a surprising amount of information about themselves. The same format is taken here as Akiko (Rin Takanashi), a working girl who’s studying in Japan, is sent on an engagement with Watanabe (Tadashi Okuno), a former professor. The film begins in a bar with Akiko off screen on the phone talking to her boyfriend Noriaki (Ryo Kase), who’s concerned and curious about what’s going on with her. Slowly we see Hikoshi step into the picture, her booker, who spends the next ten minutes talking her into taking the engagement.

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