Drake Doremus’ ‘Like Crazy’ is Part of an Independent Movement
Like Crazy made the rounds in the news late last year, hailed as a film of the new independent movement. It was touted for being shot on the Canon 5D and 7D DSLR cameras. The result is a picture of great intimacy. Like Crazy stars Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones as young lovers who share an affection that is as the title suggests. The film is about love, relationships and the struggle to capitalize on and understand the emotions of youthful bliss.
Directed by newcomer Drake Doremus, Crazy begins in a college classroom where a note signals the desire of Anna (Jones) to meet Jacob (Yelchin). This sets off a love story that spans continents and several years. An issue arises when Anna, an exchange student, overstays her allotted time in America on an expired visa. How do the lovers make their relationship work when separated by thousands of miles between Los Angeles and England? This is the central dilemma to the film, which finds the lovers doing anything they can to stay together, then seemingly everything they can to forget about eachother, only to find that their emotions run so strong that letting go is not that simple.
The Movie ‘Like Crazy’ Suffers From a Complex Time Structure
The film captures the difficulty of youthful longing – the changes that occur when kids turn into young adults – and the things they will do for love. Both lovers eventually seek the comfort of new arms, with a nice guest shot by Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence as Sam, but their complex relationship continues to permeate their existences, separate or together. Like Crazy is an intimate portrait of love, but suffers from a muddled timeline and a lack of any wide shots, one of the limitations of the cameras used in the filming.
How much time has passed in the film is difficult to discern as the couple goes from together to apart, falling into new arms, then getting married, then still failing to end up together, to, well…you get the point. The film is not without its merits as the soft touch of two people sharing the same space is deftly handled for the most part, even while the end of the film leaves the audience to draw their own conclusions as to the lovers ultimate outcome. The film looks gorgeous and is a credit to Doremus and cinematographer John Guleserian, as well as the power of the little indy cameras that are changing the landscape of filmmaking. Still, in the end, it’s the writing, story, direction and performances that make a movie and Crazy is actually a little too tame to be a breakout film.