"In the time of the Russian invasion in Czechoslovakia, making love was a way of resisting, a way of being free."
These words of the screen-writer of Lightness sum up this film entirely, an intricate balance between a political film and a love story.
This is stirring and engaging story that thoroughly challenges your preconceptions of sexuality and the Czech people as a whole. Although the story can be slow paced, and at some points almost reach a halt, the subtle yet interesting yarn keeps you engaged throughout. Tomas (Daniel Day-Lewis) has a succession of trysts with some beautiful and slightly deviant women, each of whom possess a uniqueness that he finds enthralling.
This is a great alternative love story, and puts the romance experienced in you average rom-com to shame. You get a real sense of what passion can be in this film, despite the troubles from the rise of communist Russia, the characters in this film remain resolute in maintaining their humanity. While their belongings, passports and general rights are taken away, they merely further embrace the passions of life which cannot be taken away.
In the 80s, when this film was made, the Iron curtain prevented this movie from being shot in Czechoslovakia, where the book was still banned. You thus feel impetuous for engaging in this film. Controversial and in some countries, illegal, you really feel like you're involved in something revolutionary, merely by watching.
I don't have to tell you the acting was great, Daniel Day-Lewis, as usual shines throughout, but amazingly is not the star of the show. Juliette Binoche give such an amazing performance, he character is captivating, she manages to draw your eye like a thunderstorm. Binoche's performance made me heavily upgrade my rating of her, which before had been low.
If you don't mind slow paced movies, that you have to have your full attention, then give this a go. If you however need SFX or loud noises to keep your attention, you will not be able to swallow this movie. I lovely exploration into life, love and passion.