by Edoardo Tarkovsky
Like Someone in Love, a film directed by Abbas Kiarostami, is a refreshing mix of throwback and neo-drama. It’s something of a comeback of a film for Japanese cinema, which in recent years has faded into obscurity in the world of international cinema.
In Like Someone in Love, we follow a young woman named Akiko in her daily life. We watch her become acquainted with an old man and run into her angry bum of a boyfriend. In a two-hour time period, the audience watches a seemingly unimportant series of events unfold.
But it would be a mistake to think of this all as pedestrian; Like Someone in Love is heavy with feminism that echoes the work of Kenji Mizoguchi, Mikio Naruse, etc. A noteworthy observation is that the men in Akiko’s life (her boss, her boyfriend, and the old man) all in some way, shape, or form make life harder for her. In a story that spans over less than twenty-four hours, she experiences a big barrage of adversity.
This film by Kiarostami is more than meets the eye. Its underlying themes really aren’t that far off from what we saw in the golden age of Japanese cinema. Like Someone in Love is at its heart a sympathetic piece of feminism. It goes back to the roots of Japanese films tastefully. From the ‘40s through the ‘60s, we had directors like Mizoguchi and Naruse distinguished by their feminism. Today, we have Kiarostami’s film Like Someone in Love.