Tuesday, January 13, 2009

suburbia never looked so bad

Give me more than one caress
Satisfy this hungriness
Let the wind blow through your heart
For wild is the wind

2008's Revolutionary Road didn't need the inclusion of a "psychotic" character to prove the suburban world its characters were stuck in was an emotionally empty, unexciting place. This truth was painfully evident solely through Frank and April Wheeler's facial expressions and actions (played by Leonardo Di Carpio and Kate Winslet). The film was an emotional roller coaster that eventually culminated in the inevitable: suburbia won. Though many found the film "too depressing," I came away from the film more astonished than disconsolate. Director Sam Mendes took a common film theme of the American Dream and turned into an inquistive look into what compels people.

The film makes us question our motives. If there is free will then why do so many people find themselvs trapped in unhappy lives? If we have our own control, why don't we do the things we truly want to? And as April so poignantly says, "What is stopping us?" What stops us from being truly happy? What stops us from perusing our real dreams? So many people are only caught up in what is practical that they forget what they once really desired. And it is this that Frank teaches us as he is caught up in a job and life he once swore never to have. As painful as Revolutionary Road may be (because it forces that realization), it is also a reminder of our free will and personal resolution.

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