‘Come Closer’ Review: Tom Nesher’s Triumphant Debut

Friendships can start in some of the weirdest situations and turn out to be crucial for a variety of reasons. But what happens when a friendship evolves into something unexpected, something more tender, called love? This burning question is asked in Tom Nesher’s brilliantly executed and heartwarming film, Come Closer.

Nesher began her career as an actor and appeared in a short film in 2007. In the following years, she would go on to write and direct several shorts, garnering a lot of praise from critics as well as audiences. Nearly a decade after directing her first short, Nesher has finally arrived with her first feature film, showcasing her remarkable talent to the world.

The story of Tom Nesher’s Come Closer

Come Closer begins with Nati (Ido Tako) going to see someone special. However, before he can make it to that place, he gets kidnapped and taken to an isolated beach. It turns out that his friends, along with his sister Eden (Lia Elalouf), kidnapped him to celebrate his birthday with no boundaries. After the celebrations, he sneaks out and embarks on a journey to meet that same special someone. Unfortunately, Nati gets into an accident and loses his life. The death of Nati destroys Eden, and even though she has a really weird way of dealing with things, we can sense that she misses her brother very much.

During the funeral, Eden sees a young girl and asks her loved ones if anyone knows her. After the funeral, Eden finds out that Nati never told her about having a girlfriend and she starts finding out more about the girl. Eventually, she comes in contact with Maya (Darya Rosenn) and starts following her. Even though their first meeting turns out to be a disaster, they soon start an unusual friendship in which they get closer to each other with each passing day. 

From its initial frames, Come Closer establishes a tone of profound sorrow. The movie’s opening scenes, painted with muted colors and melancholic undertones, depict Eden’s initial reaction to her brother’s death. There is a mixture of disbelief and overwhelming pain. Although this movie has tons of positive things to talk about, the most critical aspect of this film lies in its character development. As soon as we delve into Eden’s world, she becomes a vessel through which viewers experience the story’s emotional highs and lows. The revelation of her brother’s secret girlfriend catalyzes the unfolding drama, thrusting Eden into a passionate and dangerous journey.

However, the film’s strength lies in its writing. The screenplay is both poignant and beautiful, capturing the raw essence of grief with remarkable sensitivity. Additionally, the dialogues resonates with viewers because of how natural they are. They reveal the innermost thoughts and fears of the character, taking us on a journey where get to witness what real love and loss feel like. Nesher has done a fantastic job of conveying complex emotions through simple yet hard-hitting writing.

On the other hand, the film’s cinematography and haunting score enhance the viewing experience. Visually, Come Closer is one of the most beautiful films that you’ll ever get to watch on the big screen. By giving careful attention to light and shadow that mirror Eden’s emotional state, cinematographer Shai Peleg draws us into a world where everything else is in the background, and the feelings of two women are at the front. The close-up shots give viewers a chance to connect with Eden and Daria’s emotions, while the wide-angle shots highlight the profound loneliness that the duo feels. Meanwhile, the film’s score is melodic and emphasizes key moments, fabricating a medley of sound that echoes the movie’s emotional narrative.

Acting-wise, Lia Elalouf and Daria Rosen are the soul of this film. Interestingly, this is their first feature-length movie as actors, and they have already made it clear that they are here to stay. Lia’s performance is raw, and the way she shows Eden’s grief and desperation is mesmerizing. The most extraordinary aspect of her performance is how she can convey complex emotions through subtle facial expressions. It just shows her versatility as an actor and how quickly she adapts to several situations. On the other hand, Daria Rosen is quite the opposite and brings that much-needed innocence into a complicated storyline.

If Lia’s character is free-spirited, Daria is shy and doesn’t open up quickly. Subsequently, she does a wonderful job of conveying difficult emotions through understated gestures, allowing viewers to grasp the depth of her feelings. Moreover, the chemistry between Lia and Daria is spellbinding. The supporting cast is equally brilliant, especially Netta Garti. She is amazing and perfectly portrays the role of Eden’s mother. The film’s pacing is deliberate, allowing viewers to dive deep into Eden’s psyche.

Overall, Come Closer is a triumphant debut for Tom Nesher and the protagonists. It is a powerful movie that doesn’t shy away from going deeper into the darker aspects of grief. Nesher made this movie after the tragic death of her brother and wanted to create a fun and provocative story. Although she successfully managed to make a film that is a mixture of the elements mentioned above, she also crafted a story that is a hauntingly beautiful exploration of sorrow and the complexity of human emotion. Also, the film makes it clear how fragile our lives are, and we should cherish the moments that we spend with our loved ones. 

Come Closer is one of the best movies of 2024 and undoubtedly, one of the best films that showcases how love and grief can affect people’s lives.

Come Closer recently screened at the Tribeca Film Festival.

You can find out more information about the film at the Tribeca website for the title.

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