Frank(Dicaprio) and April (Winslet) are a married couple with two children, and they have a house, Frank works for a major company makes enough money to keep them both well set for the rest of their lives. April doesn’t like the life they lead, and she wants out. Frank tells her that they should make the move while the kids are still young. The decide to go to Paris and start over, but something gets in the way and that one thing is called Money. Continuing to live this life, means they still have all the money that Frank makes, without the happiness to go along with it. They have friends who they hang out with and they try and help John Giving’s (Michael Shannon) regain his sanity while they begin to lose their own.
To sum this film up in a few words, I know it’s early in the review to be doing this, but I feel like this is as good a spot as any. This film is real life like to the point that it could reflect any one person that could be at the theatre. Some will share the ideas of Frank and some of April. Neither is really wrong, the both love each other they just can’t seem to agree on what their life should be. Frank wants the big house, children, friends, a job, money, everyday life. April wants the thrill, something new, different, a challenge, a change, a life. They cannot seem to agree and they come face to face with explosive feelings on the matter. The arguing scenes in this film are so deep, intense, and relatable. Often time’s people can easily pick a side when arguing and disagreements are major in a film. But in this one, the problem is that you cannot pick a side. There is no clear cut right and wrong, they both have their beliefs and different people will see it from a different point of view. This film needed to be this way to avoid being sexist in any way. The men could see Franks views. The women could see Aprils. The challenging part was being able to see both. Being able to agree with the hurtful words they both slung at each other. Being able to identify with the words, feel their pain, feel it all, let it take you and let it consume you. With this film it will ruin your evening. The emotions will hit you, break and make you sad and not really want to talk to anyone, and just wallow in your own brain and weigh out your own life before you begin to criticize the life of another human being.
When talking about the leads it is so easy to write separate paragraphs and talk about each character and dissect the role. These characters were Undecided from phrase to phrase, thinking, pondering, hoping to decide the right thing. There is really no question after this one, Winselt and Dicaprio were both 100 times better than they were in Titanic and both should be winning Oscars in 2 weeks time, but unfortunately that won’t happen. Dicaprio and Winslet were astounding, were heart wrenching. They threw words at each other like they were married, they didn’t act, and they lived this film. They took over those lives and it was amazing. This was more than just two performances, it was real life, this stuff happens, it really does, and it is hard to see it on screen, you cannot predict the ending, you can see them for who they really are as characters and that is the problem that is what makes this film to sad and to heart breaking. This film will make you want to cry, yes it will.
A little side note, when I watched this film and the sad awkward moments came up and people didn’t know how to react they turned to laughter. I would like to point out I didn’t really find any one scene from this film particularly funny in any way. I didn’t really think that was a laughable film and that was a judgement made way before I even went to see it. So please people don’t turn to laughter, it’s ok to be sad and let it make you sad. It is more than just a film, it is the depiction of how real life can be, and that is sad.
As far as this story goes, it is simple, it is greatly written and it can be described as truly realistic. Some people might even go as far as to say this film is boring. It wasn’t for a moment boring, it just really isn’t a film for everyone, it really isn’t a film that everyone will enjoy, it has a rather sad ending, which I will not give away until maybe later in the review. It has a lot of heart stomping, mind racking, true to real life dialogue. This film has the best dialogue in a film that came out in 2008. It was a great film, in every sense of the word great.
Frank Wheeler: I want to feel things. Really feel them
April Wheeler: Just because you've got me safe in this little trap, you think you can bully me into feeling whatever you want me to feel!
From this point on there will be some spoilers. I feel the need to keep talking and keep writing, so I advise anyone who really wants to see this film not to read anymore.
1.Frank and Aprils relationship- Their relationship had its ups and downs, like most relationships, but why did they let it get out of hand like that. Right from the beginning it was evident they were on the wrong road, so did they let it get out of hand. To give my opinion the matter, I think it was because as much as they couldn’t live together and make it work, they wouldn’t have been able to live without the reassurance that every night the other would be there to help the other out if something went wrong.
2.Friends and Family- Frank and April had friends, but it always seemed like their friends were mocking them and that they were mocking their friends. That could have just been my young mind working this movie for more than it was, but I really did see the same reflections off of April and Frank that people still do today with their friends. We always talk about people when they arent around.
3.Cheating- Both Frank and April cheated, but when Frank was open with her and eventually told her, why didn’t she tell him. She had the chance, he wanted her to know that his cheating was something has had done. I am not trying to pick sides here, but from my vision it looked like he was trying to clear the demons and she wasn’t. It looked like he was ready to make nice and she wanted to rehash all the memories and suffering they had.
4.Even if you have read to this point and still haven’t found a spoiler that is major, then this one will be. The abortion argument- Frank was really harsh with April and he shouldn’t have been. His views on the issue weren’t wrong, but she wanted out and he couldn’t see that. He didn’t think she was right in any way and that if he had money she would be fine.
5.Franks Outcome- Franks outcome was probably the saddest thing in this entire film. He only moved to the city after April dies and he shouldn’t have. He should have stayed right where he was on Revolutionary Road because he drove her to death over that house. He pushed her until she snapped and then he just up and abandons his life because she is dead.
6.Final Scene- Helen and Howard Giving’s are the couple that introduce the Wheelers to Rev Road, and at the end they are talking about how they knew it wouldn’t work, and that there was something odd about the wheelers the whole time. I found this scene really sad, because after all that she sat there and said she could see it all the time. It is easy to see that once it happened.
7.Millie and Shep- Shep believed that April might have been pregnant with his kid, that is why he acted so badly when Millie was telling the new young couple. When he walked out and looked at the house and how the colors had changed, it signalled a new beginning on Rev Road with the same old haunting for the one man that maybe did care about their well being, or Aprils at least.
This film was brilliantly created, masterfully acted and is a great sad film.