Comet (2014)

Set in a parallel universe, Comet bounces back and forth over the course of an unlikely but perfectly paired couple's six year relationship (from IMDb). 

Rating: ★

This is a weird film. I wouldn't have chosen to watch it personally, but it was my flatmate's turn to choose and this is what she wanted. I'm not the biggest fan of indie films, purely because they provide more questions than answers a lot of the time and I'm the type of person who enjoys clarity. I want to sit and enjoy myself, distract from the real world, not have an existential crisis about my own life choices. But I watched Comet, and here are some of my thoughts. 

Comet is a very intimate film, focusing solely on the relationship between Dell (Justin Long) and Kimberly (Emmy Rossum). There are only brief mentions of other people in their world, a cameo or two of characters never to be seen again, so the only two characters you will see for the majority of the film are our couple. It does strip down their problems, make you feel invested, because there's nothing else going on to distract you.

Dell and Kimberly meet when they meet during a meteor shower in a cemetery in LA. Yes, it's odd but that's really how they meet. Dell is so enamored with Kimberly the moment he sees her, he almost gets hit by a car but Kimberly saves his life. She is actually on a date at the time, but that doesn't dissuade Dell who spends the rest of the night trying to convince her they should fall in love. It's not as romantic as it sounds; the way he expresses himself, describes love, just makes him sound like a dick. In a way it's a little endearing, but why on earth would Kimberly, a woman with some self-respect, go for him? 

Of course, as the movie moves forward and we flash back and forth between the six years Dell and Kimberly spent dating on and off, we see there's more to the story: Kimberly is self-destructive, and Dell is lonely. It's not a winning combination, as the movie proves. Two broken people do not create a whole. 

It's sad to see two people trying to find a way to make things work, over and over, because they do love each other. Long and Rossum do a great job of making their relationship feel real, their fights relatable and their heartbreak plausible. That all just makes it more depressing. 

Comet is a visually beautiful film, of course. The sequence of the two dancing in the hotel room in Paris was stunning and my favourite, and really captured their fading chance at happiness with a cold colour palette. But there are lots of wonderful shots.

The editing of the film was smooth as well, even though it jumped years back and forth. Every moment was juxtaposed with a past or future one, really driving home the point it was all doomed. Dell and Kimberly were always one step away from crashing and burning. They both grow as people during their relationship, which is sometimes all you're left with when the person you've invested years to disappoints you, and each flash into the future sees each of them either choosing to learn from the mistakes of last time or not. 

There isn't really a conclusion to the film, just a parting shot. Because the film starts to make you doubt if any of it is actually real. It's all very meta, and Kimberly particularly likes to mention how she saved Dell's life, and he owes her cause what would have happened if she hadn't have been there? If she'd been too late to save him? She even alludes to the idea he could actually be dead, or in a coma, and has just been dreaming this entire thing. Dell dreams of meeting Kimberly a few years after their final breakup, and I was personally left unsure what conversation between them was real, or if he was dreaming telling her about his dreams. None of it really made any sense, but it was very visually pretty to watch. 

I think I enjoyed it. It's hard to judge with these sorts of films. I was definitely surprised it wasn't terrible. My flatmate who chose it thinks she didn't like it, but she can't make up her mind, like me. I would say it's worth a worth, especially if you have Netflix cause it's on there, but it will probably frustrate you so it's up to you if that's the type of film you want to watch.
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