Amazing. Stunning. Spectacular.
It has been some time since I saw a movie that so carried me. And it has been even longer since I saw a movie with dialogues that make you want to pause and replay.
Sample this: “If being crazy means living life as if it matters, then I don’t care if we are completely insane.”
There is no grand story line and yet the movie scales great heights. It is a peek into the life of a married couple (The Wheelers), who must go through internal turmoil to come to grips with their expectations from Life, their spouses and most of all, themselves. It is about truth and how beautifully expressed in this dialogue between Kate Winslet (April) and Leonardo DiCaprio (Frank):
“Tell me the truth Frank. Remember that? We used to live by it. And you know what is so good about the truth? Everyone knows what it is howsoever long they have lived without it. No one forgets the truth, Frank. They just get better at lying.”
All characters in the movie are baked to perfection. In just one or two scenes, the director takes you into the mind of the character, and you start feeling their thoughts. Kate and Leonardo and well supported by a fine ensemble of actors who play their parts down to perfection. And there are so many shades given to each person that they appear completely real. Like you and me. Like the neighbours who cannot come to terms with the courage of The Wheelers to live the life they want to. Like the estate agent who wants her neurotic son to meet nice people. Like Leonardo’s office mates using sarcasm to hide their disappointment with their own lives. And finally, both Leonardo and Kate. Both deeply in love with each other. Both struggling to walk the tightrope of love for another and love for their own self.
With a movie such as this, you have scenes that explore a vast range of human emotions. If I have to chose one kind that this movie excels in, it has to be the scenes where Kate and Leonardo are fighting it out. And there are quite a few of these. What makes the scenes special is that you are always reminded that they love each other. The arguments presented are so cogent that you sway back and forth between the two, depending on who is talking. One moment you feel for Kate, the next you connect with Leonardo. Amazing, absolutely stunning.
Tight close-ups, warm living room settings, and personal angles all add up with the surge of emotions from the protagonists to deliver what I found to be a wave after wave of high quality story telling. Like gems strewn over the floor of a dense forest, the movie is full of nuances, small things the actors do, the way they look up, the way they turn their head, or the way they hold hands, or move their body.
If you have been itching to see a movie that will take your breath away, I recommend you go down this road at the first opportunity.
ps: YC, thank you for making the movie available to me.