“(500) Days of Summer” is like a softened version of Martin Scorcese’s outlook on goddess/whore syndrome he projected in his earlier films. “Mean Streets”, “Who’s that Knocking on my door?” and “Taxi Driver” were those which originates from a religion of guilt and sin while it is the psychology of men seeing women. Marc Webb’s portrayal appears to be sugarcoating but it is a reality check provided by a thoughtful friend. People like Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) represent major part of men and the reason to happen are populated by the childhood and the arts coming around them, good and bad.
This non-linear film does not compare the terrible last 250 days with the beautiful days of Tom and Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanael). The comparison comes once which segues into a sweet time of IKEA shopping in their earlier cherishing days. There is a voice over narrating the darkness of the sad tenure Tom is going through. They warn several times that “This is not a love story” but we hope constantly for it. That is the trend of practice we have grown up around the art and entertainment. Thus when Tom summates the nature of his job as an additional lie, we hear him.
Tom works as in Hallmark greeting kind of company wherein he got to manufacture better lines since everyone cannot come up with it or they do not have the patience for it. The new assistant to his boss (Clark Gregg) is Summer and she is hot and cute. Now that does not happen in day to day life of Tom. He develops crush in a heartbeat and bugs the hell out of his office friend McKenzie (Geoffrey Arend) and room mate Paul (Mathew Gray Gubler). If these seems to be a formula, it is not.
All the romantic films, the best favourites of mine has an ending you leave with happiness. Revelation or logic does not happen because it is emotions. Here for the first time, you leave with a feeling of consoled that Tom is happy but also that there are things to be learned. Tom played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt is walking fantasy machine. His mind forwards into this great lands of happily ever after. What happens between Tom and Summer is casual, easy and more convincing. She is a girl with impulse and he is a boy with a romantic high. She is clear and straight with him that she does not want a relationship and he knows it will change or he wants it to change.
The perspective is beautiful which is how he goes back revisiting the days of never ending walks, cute moments of perfection and the eternity of happiness inviting broad smiles in the face of Summer. This can be real is what he thinks. We always see Summer in the eyes of him and that I makes it a movie about Tom than her. She is a character of free bird having with the stern values of freedom as any one afraid of heartache. Her social smiling capability is dangerous and runs a little bit parallel to Poppy in “Happy-Go-Lucky”. Though she is not as high, animated and an over jubilant bordering annoyance like Poppy. She is the girl who the men would love to love but can easily categorize as tramp without a pause when their expectations are shattered. Her independent free nature is admirable but invites misconception on her feelings towards them.
It is a process of a guy going through with a girl. The end is meaningful and arrived with the approval of the write up than the convention of the audience. The visuals are inventive and the application just brings smiles and feel good without stretching a muscle. But more than that is the association of the slump ride Tom goes through recognizes with the inner feeling of people caught up in the trade of attraction, love and despair.
For a very sad film, “(500) Days of Summer” is full of cheery images. It splits the screen, jumps across from 10th day to random 205th day and then comes back again to 30th day and we do not lose the touch. The characters point of view have changed and their relationship has much altered and we change along with it. With soundtracks of right choices and constant freshness, this is one of the best films of this year. And the dance number is pure joy and loved every single step of it. The script by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber is treated with respect and Webb gives a film of reality and fantasy mixed up well. There is one of the best scenes in the film where it could have been wrong in so many ways. Tom and Summer had a good time in a colleague wedding which they met after their break up. Summer invites him to her party and they split screen which any one would equate as thought and the actuality. That scene alone makes “(500) Days of Summer” apart. This is brilliant film making.