Do you believe in love? “It’s love, not Santa Claus”, says Tom, in a pivotal scene in the movie. But hey, it just might be something like that. Love is probably like this largely brilliant conspiracy we are all made to believe. Or is it not?
Though it has been categorized under the romcoms, (500) Days of Summer is much more spectacular than a run of the mill romantic comedy. It’s a funny, satirical, sad and introspective examination of two people with different perspectives of their relationship.
Tom(Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is the typical guy. Constantly in search of the one – he likes to call soulmate – and making it his only mission in life. He can also be impressed pretty easily. There is a sequence where Summer tells him that she likes The Smiths and sings out a line from the song he is listening. He is immediately floored, not just because she liked the same music, but the lines she chose to sing. In another instance, it might not say much about anything at all. He is so elated when he decides she is the one that he does a Bollywood-ish song and dance routine with all those extras in the background. He is the one passionate and emotional about their relationship, who needs to be reminded of their existence as a couple at regular intervals.
But Summer – played by the irressistable Zooey Deschanel(who has adorned my wallpaper even during her Trillian and Bridge to Terabithia days) – doesn’t make it any easier for him. Summer is not the typical girl. But she is typical in the sense that guys like Tom end up finding girls like Summer. She doesn’t believe in love because she doesn’t want the heartaches, the emotions, the troubles etc. Summer doesn’t like the serious stuff. Everything goes for her as long as both of them are happy and enjoying their time together. So when she feels different and walks out, Tom is unable to handle the inexplicable situation he finds himself in – his soul-mate is gone.
At first glance, it’s hard to tell what we or more importantly Tom, has learned from this experience but the basic premise is that love may exist, but there is no such things as miracles or fate. In fact the final narration spells it out for us. If we understand that nothing is meant to be, we would make this life of ours, and others, much easier on this planet.
The soundtrack is definitely a collection! The writing is brilliant and quite worthy of an Oscar nomination. The Academy has this bad habit of ignoring some of the finest screenplays that come out much earlier in the year. In 2007, Zodiac was widely ignored and in 2008, In Bruges sank without a trace. Both the movies(and their writing more so), extremely underrated. I hope (500) doesn’t follow suit.
(500) is quite a satisfying movie and gives its genre a whole new twist. If they make a sequel titled (500) Days of Autumn, I’ll be first in queue.