Revolutionary Road and the Question It Dared Ask: Do we have the courage to get out of mediocrity?
Released in 2008, Revolutionary Road didn’t quite make the headlines in my own little world. It was only 3 years later that time permitted me to immerse myself in the complications and beauty – however awry the plot turned out- of this magnificent film.
Revolutionary Road is a classic novel written by Richard Yates. It took Sam Mendes (director) and Justin Haythe (screenplay writer) four years to finally get the film into full production. Listening to their commentary, I could only imagine how exhilarating and cathartic it is to read the novel — and if only to base my judgment on how the film’s production team was able to fuse all cinematic elements into one dynamic, timeless oeuvre, it certainly validates what a masterpiece it was back then as it is now.
For one, Richard Yates was able to put into writing and into the conflicting personalities of the characters one forgotten possibility – that in life, chances don’t come in bundles, that people (couples per se) couldn’t just massively give out a number of chances just to make the craft of loving, of being a good partner, of being in a relationship work. There will always be that one, sole chance that could transform or shift a living paradigm, and the failure to grab that chance, to make the most of it will define the difference between fighting for love and letting it fall apart.
The dissatisfaction as they continued to live a suburban life in Connecticut plagued the once happy relationship of the couple, Frank and April (Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet). As they struggled to repair their disintegrating relationship through compromise and to make light of the truth through manipulation, self-gratification, and love, they found themselves trapped in a reality where decisions made in conjunction with what is right and wrong were clouded by sheer obscurity. Moreover, they found themselves disconnected from a reality where one’s courage to leave his or her own comfort zone, to change and challenge a present system of living is constantly met with ridicule and cynicism.
Making reality not so much a tool to beautify a film (as far as glamour and vanity are concerned) as to using it in depicting a foul, enraged, crumbling element of life is an essential factor that makes Revolutionary Road a great film.
How can I not impose that you watch it 🙂