Revolutionary movie. — 4 years ago
I watched this film today and it was mentally exhausting, emotionally draining and very depressing. Imagine having to live a life of monotony with the confines and restrictions that have been forced upon you by 1950’s post-war society whilst expected to embody the qualities of the common archetype of a happily married suburban couple and if not, at least, feign a veneer of happiness.
April Wheeler, a suburban housewife, is discontent with her life and seeks a means of escape. She yearns for change, more specifically, a life in Paris. Frank Wheeler, a businessman working in corporate America, longs to discover his passions and truly live rather than exist but is comfortable in the security his present life offers.
First, I must confess that I found myself unable to fully empathise with either character as they were both to blame for their misery. I considered April to be particularly selfish, engaging in navel-gazing for most of the film. She had no sense of responsibility, and didn’t even appear to be interested in her children or appreciative of her husband’s efforts to support his family. Frank, her husband, did have some sense of responsibility which was evidently lacking in his wife. Be that as it may, he had his foolish moments where he would frequently and deliberately provoke his wife despite her already teetering on the brink of psychosis. I can understand April despising the vapidity of her seemingly hollow existence, however, I believe April’s greatest fault lied in her failure to grasp the simple truth that change comes from within. She disagreed with society’s conventions and yet, she never defied them. She could have easily acquired a job whilst remaining at her current place of residence. Furthermore, who’s to say that Parisians were not equally as absorbed as the Americans in the frivolities of life which she found to be meaningless and inconsequential?
I was frustrated with the couple and as I mentioned previously, I was unable to empathise with them but that did not stop me from sympathising with them; I felt for them dearly and I enjoyed playing spectator to their lives. It was devastating to see how unrealised dreams, ambitions and plans could cause a person to falter and fall so far. The ending was very plausible albeit tragic and unsettling and as the credits rolled, I walked out with that surreal feeling one has after having watched a powerful, gripping piece of cinema. In spite of its cliched theme, ‘Revolutionary Road’ emanated realism and Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio delivered spectacular performances in their respective roles. I loved how the film did not manipulate viewers into feeling acute sorrow by depicting the protagonists as heroes or victims or as likable characters with several redeeming qualities but simply as they were, in the rawest form; two immensely flawed human beings.