It’s been a few weeks since the world lost Abbas Kiarostami. He will forever be a unique visionary, one of the most intellectually engaging and brilliant humanists the screen has ever since. Like Someone in Love, his last film, won’t go down as one of his most challenging or most radical, but it will go down as a fine distillation of many of Kiarostami’s interests. Filmed in Japan, we follow Akiko (Rin Takanashi), a university student who also works as a call girl on the side to make ends meet, unbeknownst to her family and her jealous, aggressive boyfriend, Noriaki (Ryo Kase). She is called out to the house of Takashi (Tadashi Okuno), an elderly retired professor. We never find out why Takashi calls her, because he is certainly entirely disinterested in sex, and appears rather to just desire company.
Kiarostami drenches the film in reflective surfaces, as if searching for a canvas beyond the camera lens. Like many of his films, large chunks of the film take place exclusively inside a car. Also like many of his films, it deals greatly with our identities: how we present ourselves to others, the masks we put on and take off depending on the situation, the ever-shifting nature of who we are to ourselves and others. Enigmatic and acres deep, Like Someone in Love is as beautiful a film as Kiarostami made. He will be missed.