JUNE 10 - JUNE 13, 2023

Love is not Love : Film Review

Movie : Love is not love

Director : Stephen Keep Mills 


” Everything around me is evaporating. My whole life, my memories, my imagination and its contents, my personality – it’s all evaporating. I continuously feel that I was someone else, that I felt something else, that I thought something else. What I’m attending here is a show with another set. And the show I’m attending is myself. “

 – Fernando Pessoa

The dominating idea in the above mentioned lines by Pessoa and the story of the movie ‘Love is not love’ directed by Stephen Keep Mills lies gyrates around the theme of transience. 

The title of the movie itself is an indication of that. There is the binary of perception and deception in the title. It is evident that the movie revolves around the notion of misrecognition. We are introduced to something unknown from the title of the movie itself. Something that is not love.

The story plays the most significant part in the movie. The best part about it being the lack of specificity. We are introduced to people looking for the abode of ambrosia, seeking the nectar of affection in a world that is evidently ruthless and indifferent. In due course of time they are reminded of this in a cruel manner that somehow do not prevent them from committing the same error again.

The themes of love ,longing and solitude can be evidently found in the movie. The world depicted in the movie is a carefree one where one is busy doing one’s work seldom noticing or acknowledging his/her own needs. Therefore the characters seek what they don’t have. They long for it and in time their little glass castles shatter due to the pressure exerted on them by the pangs of futility and despair.

The characters are well penned with relatable traits and attributes. We see most them around us. We notice some of them and ignore the others. The director is providing us with a rare opportunity of meeting most of them at the same time.

The performances are impeccable and there is not a single false not anywhere from the beginning to the end. Their smiles appear as genuine as their tears. 

One must also mention the astute Cinematography in the movie. The smoke creates an atmosphere of illusion, an idea (love) erroneously formulated and then subsequently destroyed. The colour or the lack of it on the screen takes the tale to a point where agony can be clearly spotted in certain scenes and the gestures made by the characters. The streets of New York are well depicted. The colourful people on the street, their clothes, the cacophony, the smoke, everything gives the vibe of just another day on the streets of New York city.  There is a particular scene with a couple and balloons. It is one of the most beautiful scenes of the movie. The juxtaposition of silence with movement, the balance between chaos and order.

The direction appears flawless. The effort of putting all these things together must be lauded. Every conversation has something fresh to offer, where some are light and humourous and others profound and meditative. The dialogues would definitely make one introspect. One would be compelled to ask oneself: 

Do we really know what we are after?

More than often , mortals chase an idea of something without properly understanding or analysing the nature of what they are after. Love or the idea of it is the chain that tie us all, whether we like it or not. The meaningless struggles often provide us with stories. Stories that often help us look past our futile disillusionments and walk past our experiences both good and bad, the frequent defeats and the hard earned triumphs with a smile on our face. 

In one of the concluding conversations on the screen we see two people discussing something where one asks the other an interesting question and the other comes up with an even more interesting answer: 

” What would you call Valentine’s Day in a word ? ” 

” A massacre …”

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