Friday, April 26, 2013

The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Movie Review

This one is an adaptation of Milan Kundera's novel of the same name. Reading the synopsis of the movie after watching the movie I realised that the movie left me with a totally different understanding of the story.

The 1988 movie (as I understood it) revolves around a surgeon in Prague in the 60s. The surgeon is an intellectual, an artist and a womaniser too. Women are drawn to him and he sleeps with them. He believes that sex and love are different. Anyway he marries a rather staid woman that he meets in some rural hospital but continues his philanderings. The wife is unhappy - she has not such liberal views on sex - rather has opposite views on the same. Enter an artist girlfriend of the surgeon who has her own philiosophies and lives life in the manner that the surgeon does. She finds a staid man too (opposites attract) and snares him out of his marriage and when he leaves his wife, leaves him. After the Russian invasion of Prague the surgeon and wife go to Geneva where she finds some artistic inclinations and the artistic girlfriend of the surgeon. Unhappy again, surgeon's wife returns to Prague and the husband follows. Now they have a dog too. The get menial jobs in Russian occupied Prague. The wife also tries her hand at being 'light' and ends up having an affair which she probably does not enjoy that much. Then they all move to the country because she cannot stand being in Prague and eventually die in a car accident.

The book apparently looked at 'Lightness of Being' is about living the one life we have to the fullest without any regrets and guilt and heavy thought of after life and repentance and hell. So the surgeon is light and the girlfriend too and the others are trying in many ways to be. Anyway it was not a light viewing for me and I somehow thought that the story was not told well through the movie. Obviously there was far more to those characters than merely sleeping around - and it was that element to them that did not come through. For some reason it is critically acclaimed. Apparently the writer was not too happy with the way the movie came out. I guess with some good reason.

No comments: