My rating: 8
IMDB rating: 7.4
IMDB link: Revolutionary Road
Someone once said that it is expectations that kills love. We expect certain things from one another and when those expectations are not fulfilled, it is the disappointment that drives us apart. The crazy thing is that we do not always tell those we love, the things we expect from them, we expect it and in turn feel disappointed without ever disclosing to our loved ones the reasons. To me, this is exactly what this movie is about.
It seems that starting out April and Frank expected a certain kind of life from one another. While April wanted to live by the truth, Frank was not really bothered by the fact that his life was continuing in a very monotonous manner. Because of their children they moved to the suburbs, and there they continued being the normal, everyday suburban family.
For April this was simply unbearable. Most of us are brought up believing that we are special, unique and falling into that ‘normality’ can literally be a death sentence. But (luckily) not all people are the same, for some monotonous provides safety, stability and peace of mind, as it seem to do with Frank.
By this, I am not implying that he was not excited by the Paris-plan, what I am trying to say is that deep down, he was satisfied with the ‘normality’ of his suburban life (working in the city, having a form of outlet in the shape of his extramarital affairs). The excitement he felt over Paris, to me, is rather an excitement over his wife’s changed state of mind at her prospects of moving to Paris.
But there is also a certain amount of entrapment in the relationship itself. Although April feels trapped in her ‘normal’ life and Frank is trapped by his wife’s deteriorating state of mind, they are both trapped by the relationship. Now, having realised their differences and their disappointments because of their expectations which were not met, they are trapped in the ruins of their marriage by a love that is no more.
The other very interesting ting to me about this film, is the actors. There is a kind of intertextual brilliance to using Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet, the darling couple from Titanic. It begs the question, what if they (Jack and Rose) had been placed in 1950 America, against a melodramatic background, would their love have survived? Would they have been happy? At one point April says… You’re just some boy I met at a party, another reference to this perhaps?
But what would be the point of such an intertextual reference? I think that the director is making a comment on the state of love, or the condition of love or maybe even the modern conception of love as portrayed by the visual media. We often think that if only Jack had survived they would have lived happily ever after, but we never think about the larger implication of marriage, the influence of external circumstances and the predicaments that comes with child rearing. Therefore I think that using these two actors as a way of commenting on the perception of ‘love conquers all’ is quite a strike of brilliance.
An amazing movie that questions love, marriage and expectations within a relationship, starring two brilliant actors.
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