Monday, March 4, 2013

Revolutionary Road - Movie Review

'Revolutionary Road' stars two huge stars - Leonardo Dicaprio and Kate Winslet and is directed by Kate Winslet's ex-husband Sam Mendes. It is based on a novel by the same name written by Richard Yates. The movie dwells into the lives of a young couple trying to deal with life, their dreams and the loss of their illusions in the 1940s.

Frank Miller (Leonardo Dicaprio) meets April (Kate Winslet), an aspiring actress, at a party and they get married. April gets pregnant and they move to a new house on Revolutionary Road in Connecticut to sustain growing costs and their new family. Frank gets an uninspiring job as a salesman in Knox Machines where his father worked for twenty years and April's career as an actress is going nowhere. Anyway with two kids, the suburban life, ordinary neighbours and a life that seems to be slowly settling down into the ordinary, April proposes moving to Paris. She would get a job as a secretary and Frank, who is not really happy with his job, can do whatever he was meant to do. Frank is convinced, April is thrilled at the idea of going to Paris and they announce their dream, and the chasing of their dream to everyone. It is wonderful to see them tell this piece of shocking news and revel in the responses they get. 'We're going to Paris,' she says with a smug expression.

Not many understand this madness from the 'perfect couple' on Revolutionary Road. At least not the normal neighbours. However the psychologically instable son of their real estate agent seems to understand their need to go away and he fully supports it. But Frank gets a promotion offer and April gets pregnant throwing all their plans astray. April offers to get an abortion done. Frank is livid that she can think of such a thing. April sees her dream fall apart while Frank reconciles to a life in Knox Machines - preferring the safe to the unknown. The real estate agent's son blasts the two of them when he comes to know of their dilemma and almost gets beaten up. But he merely says what they fear the most and is a fantastic character. In a night out at the bar a drunk and disillusioned April ends up having an affair with her neighbour (Frank is already having one with his junior at office). As the dream slowly heads towards a bitter halt April realises that only one thing can save her dream.

Leonardo Dicaprio and Kate Winslet are such fine actors and I was left admiring how much they convey in their expressions, their postures. The way Kate stiffens up, you know that she has made up her mind. Just as Leonardo bursts out as he tries to deal with his own cowardice and his need for security - his need to be a man. Set is a humdrum setting 'Revolutionary Road' tells the story of youth and its aspirations, the times, the consequences of our decisions and what one may have to encounter when one chooses to fly. Beautifully told, intense and well performed and directed, I enjoyed watching this movie.

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