D.J. Haza presents the next entry in his series of films to watch before you die…
Revolutionary Road, 2008.
Directed by Sam Mendes.
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Michael Shannon, Richard Easton and Kathy Bates.
Revolutionary Road is based upon Richard Yates’ 1961 novel of the same name and stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as a couple struggling with the tedium of their average 1950’s lives as they watch their dreams slip away from them.
Frank (DiCaprio) and April (Winslet) settle into their suburban home on Revolutionary Road in 1955 and raise their young family. To their friends and family they appear the perfect couple. However, with April having failed at carving out a career as an actress and Frank hating the monotony of his job the pair become frustrated with their lives. Both wanting to make a change they begin to plan a move to Paris in hope of rediscovering a life they once dreamed of and things begin to look up.
With the thought of Paris and a weight lifted off Frank’s shoulder, he turns in a sarcastic piece of work, which to his surprise his bosses love and he is offered a promotion. April becomes pregnant with their third child and discusses the option of abortion with Frank, who is livid at the thought and begins to think that Paris is an unrealistic dream. The following day Frank accepts his promotion and attempts to come to terms with the life he has.
Soon after April cheats on Frank and he in return admits to cheating with the secretary in his office. When one of their dinner guests, John (Shannon), bluntly points out how Frank and April are holding each other back and destroying each other’s hopes and dreams emotions boil over. Frank spends the night drinking himself into a state, but when he awakes the next morning he finds April cheery and full of life. The pair have a normal conversation before Frank leaves for work. Once he has left April prepares to self-administer an abortion.
Revolutionary Road is a film about two people who have reached a point in their lives where they realise that their hopes and dreams are out of reach and they are doomed to suffer in mediocrity. As each of them struggles to come to terms with the life they have found themselves leading they begin to resent each other and harbour destructive emotions towards each other and themselves.
Revolutionary Road is film you must see before you die because it is a beautifully tragic story that highlights the cracks in what appears is a perfect suburban middle class life.