Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"Married Life" (2008) - Movie Review

“Married Life” is as cynical as it gets on the matrimony but trust me when I say this that it is devilishly full of conscience. In fact when the charismatic player Richard (Pierce Brosnan) acts unmercifully on the two front ladies Harry’s (Chris Cooper) life using that word “conscience”. Harry’s wife Pat (Patricia Clarkson) and his mistress Kay (Rachel McAdams) are those. Ira Sachs the director pulls a very unusual film noir and a drama for love very tough to construct on these flawed characters. It is a film full of suspense and it as straight and clean these men take their whisky. Bitter but satisfying.

Richard narrates the story of his best friend Harry who explains his decision to break up with his wife and live with Kay. A single man and who considers marriage as a disease of course has a concern for his friend and his wife until he sees the beautiful Kay. Kay is the bomb shell in a house wife skin. Her eyes are as kind as it can get and the blond hair chiseled with artistic beauty adding the voluptuousness. Richard’s animal instinct is to have her but is conflicted with his liking for his adulterer friend.

Pierce Brosnan, a man who can be cheeky with a slant on his chin and who fitted in his Bond immaculately (even in worse films) comes up with gentleman sleaziness. Set in late 40s this could not be a better suit for this charming calming negative man. Yet he is not the negative man but a person understanding his balance of conscience and plays these people in to his game. And why do we think Harry is the good man doing the wrong thing while we chuckle at the word play of Richard. Is it that the womanizing attribute of him makes an instant impression on us that he is wicked and disposes women at his will and control? Of course that is the factor the director depends upon to sidle the darkness of the dreamy regular men with this character.

When Harry explains his reason to Richard on his decision, we know he is finding it than to solve it. Harry in his forties goes through the mid life crisis as one would say and the suspense of Pat is something I would keep it for the viewers to look at. The scene in which Richard and Pat are beautifully placed and the reactions of each member in there is believably funny in the height of its awkwardness.

“Married Life” does not make it a picture of noir suspense but a study of the partnership as such. Secrets buries with the person and especially in a marriage. While the extremeness of “Married Life” might not be a regular feat but the crime records indicate the happenings very regularly in current affairs. This wave of oscillating heart in a companionship piercing its needle of pressure of monotony on these people with their showers of “I Love You” are some times tragically comic. They truly love each other and that is the whole reason each other lie among them to not hurt.

In all reality this film sees the long term of commitment in a transparency. It sees it in a dark entertainment as these are happening to some other couple than us. The problems in between them seem nothing at all but the way we feel about the loved one among us vary and that is exactly is in between Pat and Harry. It varies from day to day and moments to moments with cursing them and cursing us for the bad thoughts and the harsh words and even a life changing event. How much we sustain it and carry through it determines the longevity of the relationship. Some break down in noises and some go silent underneath plotting their own web of getting out of it. Harry does something like that while Pat does in her manner. But see Richard work into these people and cruelly wins over it. Yet he underestimates Harry when we hear the story. Even him who without any hesitation can easily step through in destroying his friend’s relationship and emerge guilt free could not spot the vicious nature coming out of Harry and pops the question in us, how well we know each other?

It is a doubtful film and it acknowledges the fact of marriage working out as life works out with the time sweeping the pieces of it. It unravels its mysteries in the unexpected actions of completely regular persons who we would have our neighbours having coffee with and sharing utensils. What happens in between a couple is the real thing. Outside of it we would see a friend in control of his emotions, a sister in her world of wisdom, a mother proud of her achievement in the relationship while a father withers his emotions in jokes and sarcasms. They are all happy and they are all sad and that makes the perfect marriage.

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