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Movie reviews

Revolutionary Road – My review

>I finished “Revolutionary Road” last afternoon. I do recommend you watch it if you can get your hands on it. Not going very often to the theatres I’m not sure if it released in India or not. Maybe you can’t find it in DVD stores too, who knows?
Back to the movie, it’s another deconstruction of middle-income suburban America. It’s set in the 50s and shows how Leo and Kate’s marriage falls apart under the strain of unfulfilled dreams and impossible aspirations. How seemingly normal lives are full of angst and repressed rage just beneath the surface. It’s a nice attempt to look at failing marriages and lost ambitions, but I do feel it is an incomplete attempt. It does not dive into the depths of the conflict and the tensions but just skims the surface. We see the ultimately tragic results of all this turmoil and are even able to maybe predict them, but the reasons behind the unfolding of the same are not elucidated in so many words. You do see plenty of hints and the discerning viewer can piece it together though. Both the leads have put in a wonderful effort. It was perhaps fitting that this should be Kate and Leo’s second film after “Titanic”. How the dreams of youth unfold in to the drabness and banality of adult life and how difficult it is for some to adapt and give up on their desires is an ironic sequel to that tale of love transcending time. This film brings Rose deWitt Buttaker back to earth and she falls apart. And unlike “The War of the Roses” of the 80s and “American Beauty”, Kate ultimately lashes back at herself and inflicts perhaps a harder blow on Leo than what Douglas or Spacey had to undergo. Kate as always puts in a superlative performance as the depressed wife, seeing her dreams and fantasies fading away before her own eyes and unable to cope with the loss, with the idea that “they are someone special”, trying desperately to break free from the confines of the dull middle class life she finds herself in, chasing every rainbow no matter how faint and fleeting it be. How the brashness of youth fades in the face of the grim realities of life! And how utterly unable she is to accept such failure. Leonardo is very good as the frustrated confused husband oblivious of what goes on in his wife’s head, caught in a dead end job, afraid to chart a new course for himself for fear of failure. He sees his dreams fading too, but he resigns himself to the non-significance of his life, at least superficially for under the skin the failures still rankle.
Unfortunately the film suffers from one flaw. There is no prelude. We meet the Wheelers when their marriage is already falling apart. We only get glimpses of what they were before and nothing of how they end up this way. Maybe it was a deliberate attempt on the part of the director to make us each form his own conclusions, I don’t know. But it seems as if you’re watching Act II of the play. Apart from that, it’s a nicely made film and worth watching.

About hbhatnagar

I need to fill this up with much better content than I had populated it with earlier. Why I write a blog maybe? I started blogging in 2009 or thereabouts. I was a newly turned atheist and wanted to converse with others of the same persuasion. We're not exactly a big population group in India! It didn't go very well and I sort of lost interest, posting a few things now and then. I got a lot more regular over the last few months and have been posting almost daily since February '15. There were many reasons why I gradually became more regular in posting, but one way or the other, here I am! So this blog has taken shape, being at different points in time my showcase, my comedy club, my art gallery, my book club, my therapist, my close friend, my innermost self....but always my little corner of the world. You are all welcome to visit and I hope you stay awhile! A few points about me because I don't want to lead anyone on(and trust me this does become an issue more often than I'd care to admit). I'm Indian, the brown-skinned variety; if race, ethnicity or skin colour is an issue, you don't have to get to know me any more than what you see on my blog. I'm 40, so if age is an issue, please be informed accordingly. I was a doctor, an ophthalmic surgeon for 10 years before I quit practice.

Discussion

10 thoughts on “Revolutionary Road – My review

  1. I enjoyed this film and saw it more than once. I think the flaw you mentioned, the lack of a prelude is what makes it so tragic. I suspect the director is trying to tell us this marriage never got off on the correct footing. It was perhaps the stuff of dreams. This was apparent in the “let’s go to Paris” plan that was interrupted by the husband’s proposal. I thought the death of the wife was a bit melodramatic, though. No lessons were learned at the end of it. Money and ambition won out over love in the end. Warmest, SB.

    Like

    Posted by Sabiscuit | 26/03/2015, 4:56 PM
    • Looking back at the film, I agree with you on the lack of prelude, it was a different me who watched it way back then. I feel the lack of lesson was also maybe part of the director’s vision, that there are marriages that end in misery, no matter how much promise they might seem to hold out in the beginning. Thanks for commenting. HB

      Liked by 1 person

      Posted by hbhatnagar | 26/03/2015, 5:01 PM
      • Thanks so much, HB. I appreciate your visiting and reading at mine, too. I think we might have the same tastes in film, so I’ll watch out for future reviews. I was going to comment on Avengers, but it is definitely going to be a long comment, so I gave up in the middle. Let’s just say, we didn’t need the Hulk. SB.

        Liked by 1 person

        Posted by Sabiscuit | 26/03/2015, 5:05 PM
      • I’d stopped writing reviews since no one seemed to read them anyway, you’ve given me a reason to think about starting again. Thanks for that. I watch pretty much everything, but these days with depression hanging heavy I try to watch comedies or inane action films (Edge of Tomorrow?), no romcoms. I’d like to read your comment on the Avengers.

        Liked by 1 person

        Posted by hbhatnagar | 26/03/2015, 5:08 PM
      • Gosh, my comment on Avengers will just be frame by frame complaints. I’ll spare it for when you feel better. When you’re in a better mood, just let me know and I’ll write you one. Edge of Tomorrow. Yes. I saw it and screamed … it was quite entertaining but way too sad to watch again. Inane action films are healing. I hope you’ll feel better soon. SB.

        Liked by 1 person

        Posted by Sabiscuit | 26/03/2015, 5:12 PM
      • I could see The Avengers again just for Robert Downey Jr. And it would be money better spent rather than watching Iron Man 3. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        Posted by hbhatnagar | 26/03/2015, 5:16 PM
      • Don’t get me started… I want to watch IM3 just to throw wet caramel popcorn at the screen. I mean… don’t get me started. And I was a Loki fan. He was great in Thor 2. The rest of the film sucked.

        Liked by 1 person

        Posted by Sabiscuit | 26/03/2015, 5:18 PM
      • That made me laugh, the image of someone throwing wet caramel popcorn at the screen. Thanks for that, it’s my first laugh in months.

        Liked by 1 person

        Posted by hbhatnagar | 26/03/2015, 5:19 PM
      • I’m pretty brutal when it comes to films. I usually say to the screen “you have exactly 5 minutes.” If I’m not amused after 3 minutes, I have other things to do with my time. Eject.

        Like

        Posted by Sabiscuit | 26/03/2015, 5:21 PM
      • I like to wallow in the ugliness that is a bad film so I can get the complete experience when I rip it to shreds with relish. I’ve only walked out on one film in my life, a local Bollywood one that went beyond the stupidity I’m used to with Bollywood films.

        Like

        Posted by hbhatnagar | 26/03/2015, 5:25 PM

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