Life has too many complex things revolving around it. There are insecurities, fantasies, aims, responsibilities, relationships, feelings added to it, and also survival. All these aspects do add to the pressure and also the ease to live a life. And there isn’t anything ever that’s perfect. No human, no couple, no situation and for that matter no relationship. Relationships that seem to be perfect at times are the most flawed ones within. We do choose a path to revolutionalise our situations and to enhance them in a better way. Paths taken may or may not be the ones we would always choose but we tend to.
‘Revolutionary Road’ is a film that speaks about those paths that one takes to reach somewhere, a change that one loves to have in his/her life and that road which expects you to walk over it with a mindset to change.
This may or may not lead you somewhere but it does help you know the better you or the better us. A film that seems to be about a love story but it speaks more than just a love story. It’s commentatory on various subjects that were considered to be taboo back then when the story is set. It is adapted from a book with the same name, written by Richard Yates.
The story is set in the 1950s and it’s about a couple who meet at a Bar. They tend to like each other and hence go on to become a beautiful couple. They are considered to be the most perfect and the most wonderful couple in the locality blessed with two sweet kids. As said by people, “The Wheelers are a beautiful couple.” Yes, Wheelers – Frank and April. Frank works in a company called Knox, where his father, Earl Wheeler worked too. He is someone who gave up on his dreams or passion to work here and to take on responsibilities. April is someone who was an actress in plays and the film starts with her play which eventually was a flop but yes, it has its symbolism too. There was a rift between the couple which wasn’t visible to the outside world. A cold relationship that had a presence physically but not emotionally. April realises how Frank gave up on his dreams to visit Paris and due to various responsibilities he buried them somewhere and was working where he didn’t relish. She thus asks Frank to give up on everything and move to Paris, where she will work and he’ll have the time to think over and fulfil his dreams. The story moves ahead with the barricaded fantasies and the desire to lead a life one loves. A bumpy road that goes from love to anger to disrespect to infidelity to ignorance to hate to emptiness. It needs a lunatic to tell us about most of the truths heard in this film. John Givings, considered to be a crazy man here speaks the most rational thing.
Direction and Cinematography
I must say the direction of this film is well crafted. It is not just directed well but shot well too. Director Sam Mendes knew what emotions he wanted to extract out of the characters and what he wanted audiences to feel.
Cinematographer Roger Deakins, what an amazing work he has done. The shots captured were beautiful. They added meaning to the story, enhanced it exceptionally well. Especially scenes where conversations went deep, the camera kept zooming on the character gradually and an instance where Kate’s character feels free after her abortion, it pans out. This shows how detailed work it was.
Frank Wheeler played by Leonardo Di Caprio is just too good. He catches every emotion so well that you just feel those right away. His eyes must tell is a treat. Every word coming out was as organic as it can be. April Wheeler played by Kate Winslet is probably one of her finest roles. She has overshadowed everyone in this film. Right from the word go, she is beautiful, she is strong, she is complex and she is natural. She never seemed to act, it felt as she went through it all by herself. John Givings played by Michael Shannon, who plays the role of lunatic is so so well played. His acting is full of conviction, just as much as is needed. The other performances by David Harbour, Kathryn Hahn, Kathy Bates, Jay Sanders, Richard Easton and others were also well placed. It all came up as one great casting.
Well as I said about the shots captured, would love to speak about some scenes. There are two instances where each of the character – Frank and April kneel and make the opposite person understand about the situation and the future connected to it. One where April kneels to convince Frank to move to Paris and the other one where Frank makes her understand how does staying back can make them happy too.
One more would be April sitting still at the dining table when all others are grumbling behind her. A chaotic situation behind her to speak about her present mind frame.
A scene where Frank decides to move to Paris and he stands leaning on a wall, with people behind him moving in two different directions again stating the two roads in front of him.
‘Revolutionary Road’ is a story that needs to be visited just to understand it’s not always rosy even if it seems. A story that is as horror inside as beautiful it seems outside. It does speak about the chaotic scene that dwells in our mind. Fantasies have their prices to pay too. Would recommend to watch this drama which is more of a reality.