Saturday, March 28, 2009

The lady with gumption.

                Kate Winslet strikes hard in Revolutionary Road. Her Oscar win as lead actress in BBC film production directed by her husband Sam Mendes seems vindicated. The ironical depth of the film's title itself stands for the essense of the movie's storyline."Revolutionary road", has a deeper truth in it beyond being the name of the street on which the Wheeler family (Leonardo di Caprio and Kate Winslet and their two children) try hard to live out the happy middle class life; it symbolises the revolutionary path that they never took. 
The story revolves around a close knit weave of details of a series of subtleties of family life and seemingly minor issues that in reality bore into our lives and before we know it, leave us as mere empty shells, mere pretences. With its intense script and dialogues that edge on the idealistic , the film takes us into it slowly and in steps.It takes refuge in the small thoughts in an average person's head and elevates it to its rightfully deserving contemplation, through the medium of Mrs. Wheeler,who is the crux of the film.

                 The small thoughts, the little ideas in your head ; that make you day dream , give you the escape door to fantasy land, are an indispensible dosage require to live. I dream of going to Paris . Yes , it is a cliche, a whimsical fantasy , image driven and very eluding. the thing that incurs sniggers from your fellow mates. Nevertheless , my thoughts are my own.
So when the Wheelers decide one fine day, (actually it is Mrs. Wheeler who decides) to move to Paris in the hope of 'living' again as the 'special' couple they had always considered themselves to be, I couldnt help but feel like getting into the tv screen and hugging her! She is the strong woman, the one who values every thought in her head, the one who believes that one must be able to do what one always wanted to do. She wants to do things, get things happening, and cant stand wasting away into a mechanical existence. I like her !

                   In front of her, Mr. Wheeler seems faded, jaded, a person who is trying too hard at the wrong things and has lost himself in the process. He is the cliched and rubbed over concept of the middle aged family man who has taught himself to think that his teenage ambitions were mere fantasies.In one of their numerous high voltage arguments she says " You need guts to live the way you want to live and you dont have it!" , which  more or less rounds him up.

                   The most intense anti-climax is the morning after their most distrubing fight. Kate winslet stuns with her acting, and Mrs. Wheeler stuns her viewers by appearing in the kitchen smiling and dressed tip -toe like the ideal  housewife and asks her husband "Good morning! would you like scrambled eggs or fries eggs for breakfast?" It is the most tense and yet visualy the most calm sequence of the film with the apparently happy Wheeler couple having their daily breakfast together. She seems so old and wisened while he still seems satisfied to enjoy this make believe pretence of happiness. it is an unmatched pair of great zeal  and timid acceptance.

                  What entails is, of course again, another cruel irony .You could watch for yourself.
Though she lives in the wrong time for herself, perhaps the time needs people like her to get some gumption back into living.


Ashwin said...

First of all, you have written a wonderful review.! Great .!

Revolutionary Road: Well, it is indeed a movie that speaks a lot to a common man. The actors are so well indulged into the characters that it revels truth.

I feel Mrs Wheeler is pulled apart by their feeling that they are a special couple , their dreams. And
Mr Wheeler's agitation to get out of the comfort zone to realise
his dreams. She believes in THE WHEELERS that they are very special in all aspects, but Mr Wheeler does not even believe in himself.

Kate is outsatnding. And I totally agree about the scene in kitchen, after the worst fight they ever had. I can't forget the numbness of her heart that she displayed with her expressions.

Revolutionary road is an example for perfect execution.!

I did watch The Reader , And I really can't decide which movie has better performance by Kate.

Sanat Prabhu said...

gr8 review :)

I have yet to watch the movie though.