Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hopeless Emptiness....

I watched two Kate Winslet's films -Revolutionary Road and The Reader- back to back and I really liked them both. Though I will only write about Revolutionary Road ;)
Revolutionary Road-
Directed by Sam Mendes, who also made American Beauty and who is also Kate Winslet's husband, the film is about the Wheelers whose marriage is falling apart in the suburban America in the 1950s. The film is really really sad though those who have read the book by Richard Yates of the same name say the book is more depressing than the film:( It is not an easy film to watch and there were a lot of hermeneutic scenes open to interpretation of the viewer. I am not sure whether I really got the film's message because as I said before it is not an easy film to watch. One needs time to think and understand it. Though the film has its flaws like I found Leonardo was overacting in some places and the couple's children were missing at very important moments, but I liked the film a lot especially the character of John played by Michael Shannon. He plays a mentally challenged person but as they say the insane speak the sane, it was some of his scenes that were so powerful like when he says that "we run for life running from the hopeless emptiness of the whole life here, right?", "most people know the emptiness, it takes real guts to see the hopelessness".
I probably think that the film tried to portray that ultimately after a period of time everything gets boring, love seems to evaporate and everything is like a routine and this is tragic but true. Like the very last scene, when John's father Howard switches off the button of the hearing aid when his wife Helen who had sold the house to Wheelers goes on criticising them. It was probably his way of escaping from his own sadness. Or when the Wheelers' neighbours who also are unhappy in their lives but don't say so, like the way they reacted after the Wheelers told that they were moving to Paris, Milly, Shep's wife starts crying.There was a lot of his frustration with Shep's domestic life in a very quiet scene where he sees his boys in front of the television. He says hello and asks them what they are watching. They don’t even look at him. He goes outside with the first of many beers and stands in the backyard, staring. Until April appears, with Milly.
There was another beautiful scene when Frank explains to Kate that he is entering computer business, he shows and draws a lot of vacuum tubes, and April says, "Oh really", probably thinking of the vacuum in her own life.

Even whether April committed suicide or her death was an accident, a lot of debate has been going on about it , though I am confused I feel it could be both. Kate was lovely in the film I will watch it again and probably read the book too:)

The Reader-
Watch it for Kate Winslet's performance, but the film is equally good. It is also a very very sad film:(

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