Film Review: “52 Words for Love” (2018) ★★★

What does love stand for? Do we really have the right answer to it? Do we know how to distinguish affection from being in love and passion from physical attraction? How can we relate with respect to accountability, fantasy from imagination, and compassion from commitment? And what has love to do with this? Anything that challenges us as human beings and helps us to unlock who we really should become is truly magnificent. As for love, it can be many things, can take any shape or form. Even darkness is love because once it goes off, it enlightens everything around us.

“52 Words for Love” is the right film that could and has the power to build into us something really special. Its protagonist named Alice (Stacey Iseman) creates a website for her project called the titular name, in which she spends months to explore all the synonyms for love, combines all the doc interviews together which this film is purely based on. “I’ve never fell in love before”, Alice says to her friend, Madison (Suzannah Gugsa), but as she goes through her social network, her life completely changes along with of those who knowingly or not, have embarked themselves on such an emotionally charged journey. 

Written and directed by the great duo, Andrea Moodie and James Blokland, the film offers insight on desire, relationship, the true meaning of reconciliation, dedication, embracing love, friendship, honesty and even love. “52 Words for Love” sets an interesting and deeply moving path for the viewer that will be able to touch each and every one of you. It provides a peculiar healing process for a soul not just going through the thesaurus or looking for other words that could have an impact on you or anyone else. This film targets each character in a personal way, helps them question themselves, their feelings, and what they want to do with it.

In conclusion, Moodie/Blokland’s piece works because it’s genuine, honest, and leaves all the child talk aside. As the film itself does not overload with unnecessary scenes or dialogues, it slowly builds up the tension bringing everything to one point – we can’t love if we are not engaged. We can’t be engaged if we show a lack of interest. We can’t love if we can’t feel. We can’t live if we are dead. This film is beautiful because it has all the humane aspects we desperately need to watch to understand one main word other than love that our life is based on – relationships of any kind is a trigger point for us to grow all other important feelings in our heart. And once we open our heart, we can easily come up with more than 52 words to describe love. Because we cared. And this film is a great teacher to deliver that lesson.

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