Great movie. (Spoilers coming up) Deeply disturbing. One reason is that it echoed my parents relationship. Really disturbing when John, the sane but mad truth sayer says: “I am glad I am not that child” pointing to April’s pregnant tummy.
I saw 1950’s lives described through the current consciousness. These people did not know about the 60’s countercultureal response to “empty lives”, 70’s wave of feminism, let alone the “me” generation of personal groth & self actualisation. They actually did well if you think about what was available to them. (My parents did too) They attacked each other and themselves, and oscillated between moments of false peace & dubious truth.
Disturbing too in that our lives now are lived with similar inadequate resources of consciousness & skill. We could see what they missed, but what are we missing? Kate Winslet as April sums up her own plight, but it fits the best of lives any time. This is existential despair that is hard to escape without deep love and acceptance of who we are now.
April Wheeler: I wanted IN. I just wanted us to live again. For years I thought we’ve shared this secret that we would be wonderful in the world. I don’t know exactly how, but just the possibility kept me hoping. How pathetic is that? So stupid. To put all your hopes in a promise that was never made. Frank knows what he wants, he found his place, he’s just fine. Married, two kids, it should be enough. It is for him. And he’s right; we were never special or destined for anything at all
Why “Revolutionary Road”? It is not hard to see this as a deeply cynical political analogy. All the way through there is comment about unrealistic plans. Mendes’ “American Beauty” another family saga, similarly invited to be seen as transcending the particular lives of particular people.