- 1 hr 25 min
Flirt is a 1995 film that revolves around the themes of love, temptation, and fidelity. Directed and written by the acclaimed indie filmmaker Hal Hartley, the movie features an ensemble cast that includes Paul Austin, Robert John Burke, and Martin Donovan in lead roles. The film is a triptych of stories set in different cities around the world, each centered around a young man named David. The first story takes place in New York City, where David (Paul Austin) is torn between his girlfriend (Merritt Nelson) and an old flame (Adrienne Shelly). The second story is set in Berlin, where David (Robert John Burke) tries to resist the advances of an attractive bartender (Katrin Cartlidge) despite being in a long-distance relationship with a girl back home. The third and final story unfolds in Tokyo, where David (Martin Donovan) finds himself drawn to a mysterious woman (Miho Nikaido) who speaks no English.
Through these three interconnected tales, Flirt explores the complexities of modern relationships, the fickleness of desire, and the ways in which people are tempted to stray from their commitments. The film is shot in Hartley's signature deadpan style, with minimalistic dialogue and muted colors that give the movie a sense of detachment from its characters.
One of the most notable aspects of Flirt is the way in which it plays with cinematic conventions. The film takes several familiar tropes of romantic dramas and subverts them in unexpected ways. For example, in the first story, the audience might expect David to eventually choose between his girlfriend and his ex-lover, but instead the film leaves his decision ambiguous, refusing to provide easy answers. Similarly, in the second story, the audience might expect David to cheat on his long-distance girlfriend with the alluring bartender, but instead the film portrays their interactions as a battle of wills, with David struggling to resist her advances.
Another unique aspect of Flirt is the way in which it presents the different cities where the stories take place. Each segment is shot in a different visual style, from the gritty streets of New York to the stark industrial landscapes of Berlin to the neon-lit alleys of Tokyo. This gives the movie a sense of global scope, while also highlighting the distinct cultural differences that exist in each location.
At its core, Flirt is a film about the human condition, about the universal desire to connect with others and the obstacles that often get in the way. Whether it's the language barrier between David and the woman in Tokyo or the fear of commitment that plagues David in New York, the film shows how difficult it can be to navigate the complex terrain of modern relationships. However, at the same time, the movie also suggests that these challenges are what make love and desire so compelling, so worth fighting for.
Overall, Flirt is a thought-provoking and visually stunning film that displays Hal Hartley's unique directorial voice. With its complex characters, daring storytelling, and bold experimentation, the movie stands as a testament to the power of independent cinema and the enduring appeal of the romantic genre.
Flirt is a 1995 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 25 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.3 and a MetaScore of 46.