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On the surface High Fidelity is a story about breaking up and getting back together again Only thanks to director Stephen Frears narrative technique we dont realize this until the credits start to roll He plunges into the life of Rob Gordon played by John Cusack on the night his girlfriend Laura leaves him Robs subsequent depression and self-analysis is the focus of the film getting the girl back becomes secondary Robs frustration from his break up with Laura reminds him of all of his other failed relationships specifically his Top Five All Time Break Ups List His recounts of each girl are interspersed throughout the first half of the film We only learn about Laura as we learn about Robs past Consequently the main part of the narrative is either flashbacks or direct commentary by Rob to the audience This might seem to be a weakness but it is in fact a vehicle for Frear to move the present plot forward It is only through understanding Robs past that we can understand his current angst In addition the slow revelation of the causes for his and Lauras break up reinforces Robs own mental journey We learn things as Rob himself is ready to deal with them For example it is only when Liz a mutual friend marches into Robs record store and yells profanity at him that Rob begins to think of what Laura probably told Liz He finally lets the audience in on some of the things he did to cause the break up Yet Rob still hasnt fully grasped what happened between him and Laura It is a great strength and in fact the very nature of the film that we are limited to Robs mental struggle All of the information is slowly laid out to him and to us In his struggle to understand his current break up Rob becomes obsessed with his past relationships and decides to go out with
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