Director: Derek Cianfrance
Let me start by saying that I never in a million years thought that I would write anything on this movie, so strong is my dislike of this film. But, it came up in an article I was reading today, and I was sad to realise that I don’t hold a popular opinion of this movie. Furthermore, people got completely polar views from my own. So, I figured that my voice needs to be heard.
From the technical perspective this movie is pretty well made. I didn’t seem to notice any terrible flaws with it. It carries out the mood very well with predominantly blue hues, and despite the overall subject matter even makes the early romantic scenes feel cute and cozy. The timeline is cut up and the movie jumps from “present” to the beginning if main characters’ relationship; juxtaposing their past and present selves and dynamic between them. The scene are much darker in the present to add to the doom and gloom.
But, as with books, you can be a master of the language you write in, know all the techniques and proverbs and dialects, but if the subject matter is not inspiring, captivating or at least entertaining, all your skill is worth nothing. As is the case with this movie.
Now, the rest of this review might contain spoilers for some, so if you feel like you would like to form your own opinion first don’t continue reading. On the other hand, this might intrigue some people who didn’t think of watching it.
In terms of subject matter this film is truly appalling. On the surface, it is about a couple who are going through a rough patch and decide to call it quits. Well, the girl decides to give up, really. Which generally wouldn’t be a problem, if the movie did try so hard to make me sympathise with her and demonize the guy at the same time. Normally, I would say that no one person is usually responsible for the breakup, but really this girl gives a bad name to all the females in the world and she is made up a hero in this story. What I see is a charismatic, nice, trusting guy (maybe a little simple at first, but with potential) falling madly for this girl he just met. The girl, Cindy (Michelle Williams) just had a rough relationship and finds out she’s pregnant from the ex. Dean (Ryan Gosling), being the last gentleman on earth, offers himself for the role of the father. She accepts.
Here is where it gets tricky. From multiple scenes we can see that he truly cares for her even in the present time, even after each terrible fight. Whereas, during one of the emotional dialogues it hit me – she never loved him! She never even felt any gratitude towards him, and that actually probably is the root of all their fights. Because she feels guilty that she doesn’t feel anything and hates him for feeling so much. On the surface though, she doesn’t seem to understand it and she’s just pissed that she’s trapped in this house with this strange dude. WHAT A CUNT!
The guy, who in the beginning we see being ambitious and curious of things and full of life, slowly withers without any love or support like a flower without water. And what kills me the most is that he tries again and again to make it work, even though he could’ve walked out at any moment. I mean, he’s raising someone else’s kid, and the girl of his dreams constantly tells him he’s shit. I would probably lose interest in everything and start drinking too. And somehow she fails to see that she is doing it to him. Oh, and did I mention he talked her out of jumping off a bridge? Oh how the tables turn. Also, makes you question her previous guy, maybe he wasn’t that bad either. It just seems like she just takes whatever is offered to her without any second thought and then starts blaming everyone but herself.
All that said, I don’t think this movie should exist. There is enough crap around us all as is and if anything we need more movies where people stick together through thick and thin.