Flirt is an interesting film, to be sure. It
could almost be classed as three separate short films, all of which explore
the same premise, using almost the exact same script, but all of which are set
in a different major city (New York, Berlin, and Tokyo) with a different group
of people and varying cultural backdrops.
The basic story is simple enough: one half of
a couple is traveling overseas on business for three months, and wants some
show of commitment from their other half, so as to ascertain whether there
will be a future for the two of them on their reunion in three months time.
This raises questions within the mind of the individual who will be staying
behind, as to whether they are ready to settle down and remain monogamous to
this one person, and whether they have enough faith in the relationship to
comfortably believe that things will still be the same in three months time on
A great many people will identify with the
main character in each of the three short pieces, as I imagine almost everyone
has, at one stage or another, been in a relationship where they are not sure
of what the future holds, and how much they are willing to commit. People are
asked for more commitment, and are not always ready to offer it. This is the
main issue at stake in Flirt.
script is well written - simultaneously clever, quirky and endearing. The
“Flirts” of the title are all likeable and there is enough variation between
the three different versions of the story so as not to feel too much déjà vu
with each segment. It’s quite a clever way of exploring a theme – putting
different characters from different social backdrops in the exact same
situation and examining the differences in their reactions. As thought
provoking as it may be, however, the fact cannot be ignored that it IS
essentially the same story three times in a row, and this may put off some
All in all Flirt is a fairly enjoyable film.
It is well written and thought-provoking, but some people may be bored by the
fact that it is pretty much the same story three times over. However if you
feel like something different, you could do a lot worse than this.
The video quality is adequate, although
the film is presented in a 4:3 ratio, which is a bit unfortunate. However,
everything is fairly sharp and vibrant, although nothing to get especially
excited about. Good but not great.
Likewise for audio – it does the job but
isn’t anything life-changing. Given that the film is mostly dialogue-based,
this is only really to be expected. All the dialogue is clear and easy to
understand (when it’s in English, anyway).
The only extras are a filmography of director
Hal Hartley, and some Madman Films propaganda. A little disappointing really.