Wednesday, June 03, 2009
As an ardent film lover, I thank God for Silverbird and Genesis Deluxe Cinemas. However, their film selections tend to cling firmly to the mainstream. So when I travel I try to watch the types of films that I know won’t be on offer here.
One of the films that I’ve enjoyed the most this year definitely has to be Revolutionary Road. Even if you haven’t seen it, you must surely have heard about it. Yes, that same Revolutionary Road from which actress Kate Winslet generated so much buzz this year, not to mention a slew of award nominations.
Revolutionary Road chronicles the journey into despair of April Wheeler, an aspiring actress who ends up as a dissatisfied housewife in suburban Connecticut. At the start of their relationship, she and her husband Frank share so many dreams of how exciting and different their lives will be. In the end, they realise that they are just like everyone else.
This is definitely a universal story, because I remember when I was much younger and dreaming about how radical my life would be. As people grow older, they start to ask themselves “So, is this it? Is this what the rest of my life will be like?”
For Frank, he goes to work (albeit to a job he’s bored by) and has career advancement prospects to distract him and give him hope of a better life. For April, she has the house, her two children and her husband to take care of, but (due to a combination of a lack of talent and consensual focus of priorities) no career. And she feels that for all her grand dreams and plans, her life has become empty and typical.
I remember thinking at the time I watched it that the film’s ending was theatrical and over the top, but at the end of the day, this story captures the quiet desperation of many women in 1950s U.S.A (and I’m sure today) as they sought to reconcile their unhappiness with their empty days while living out what is considered to be the ‘dream life.’
Read a review of the film on Women and Hollywood.