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By Heinrich DOmingo

Love is a game. It has two main players both in a battle of dominating each other. This is Love Me If You Dare’s premise. Two irrational characters are placed in a rational environment which they believe revolves around them. It is a film that bears metaphors proving that love like any other game can give the players bruises, body pains, and emotional torments before winning.

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Childhood best friends Julien (played by Guillaume Canet) and Sophie (Marion Cotillard) started a dare game. A tin can symbolizing their bond shall be given to the person who will take a dare. As they grew up, these dares became more serious even jeopardizing their lives and the lives of others. They got separated when both decided to take life in a more serious manner. For several years, they didn’t see each other prompting a much-anticipated rendezvous. But as this meeting draws nearer they begin to realize how their lives have changed without each other.

Love in the eyes of a child is just about being with a special friend while doing stupid things sans negative consequences. This 2003 French film presents romance using the simplistic perspective of children. Love is a concept that can justify mistakes made, people killed, and dreams unachieved. While the characters grew old, the film denies their maturity. Julien and Sophie continued to be childish committing irrational decisions. From this, Love Me If You Dare begins to unfold a love story about two grown-ups whose outlook in life still seems to belong to children.

This movie can disappoint those who put prime in the way characters act. Julien and Sophie act based on their whims and impulses. Viewers with a clear notion of normalcy would have a hard time comprehending them. Why would someone disengage a handbrake of a bus full of children? Why would someone ruin her sister’s wedding cake just because of a dare? Why would someone stand in a railway where a train is coming? Despite these eccentricities, the story remained consistent. From the film’s beginning until its end, the main characters continued to have the same personality that the audience was introduced to.

The film’s cinematography jibes with the director’s vision. Characters are meant to be playful. Sequence of events is meant to be dynamic. Camera movement is meant to be comic. Images on the screen bear a faint resemblance of Wes Anderson’s film style.

Love Me If You Dare offers an alternative comedy from the romcoms popular today. It banks on the eccentricity of its narrative rather than on good looks of its cast or on feel-good endings. Without alienating the viewers from a black-and-white screen or from hard-to-relate conflicts, film viewers can look for interesting movies from the recent past.

3 stars

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