Saturday, January 23, 2010

"An Education" (2009) - Movie Review

There is a pondering question in the need for the education we take upon. Without the awareness of the reasoning, the path to a better prospect is through the school which opens the gates of these prestigious universities which appear as mantle of hope up high in the mountain of distraction and depletion of entertainment. Through this climbs every one adoring and wondering there will be a day when these pains and sacrifices will be worth it, but not every one stops in the middle and think why they are doing this. To have a better future is the axing answer coming from their respective parents but after that? Work in their veins and enjoyment vanishing through crowded streets beckons why they missed all those during their growing up. Is it all there to for this great offering of education? Jenny Miller (Carey Mulligan) thinks so too and her ideal life is to live in Paris, read books and be the art connoisseur of this existence of eventual end. Does not every one want the same?

In the early sixties of England suburbs lives Jenny Miller, a young talented and smart sixteen year old with her parents Jack (Alfred Molina) and Marjorie (Cara Seymour). Jack knows the steps to get his daughter in to Oxford University. Jenny is good in Cello and would love to play it but a hobby needs to be hobby says Jack. He is vigilant on his daughter’s study schedule while Marjorie knows that Jack is pushing the limit. Jack is a typical worried father and Marjorie compliments this parenting. The future has been destined for Jenny on this path. She aces the tests and it is only matter of time before she gets into this dream university.

In this comes David (Peter Sarsgaard), a charming personality with a care for simple sentences to communicate and get his decisions done through others. He instantly is a hit with Jenny and goes a step further with impressing Jack and Marjorie. He takes Jenny to orchestra concerts and dines in fancy restaurants with his friend and partner Danny (Dominic Cooper) and Danny’s mistress Helen (Rosamund Pike). This life of glamour and hedonism blows away young Jenny. Even her anger to the con and stealing profession David and Danny is easily lulled. She is sucked in.

Out this emerges the question in her mind which is the challenging of the system of education she is going through. If enjoyment and prosperity is the goal of this education and if she can get it without the ordeal, what is wrong in it? She is so convincing in her argument that her favourite teacher Miss Stubs (Olivia Williams) and principal (Emma Thompson) have no answer. This is where the director Lone Scherfig owns us. We are speechless to those arguments.

Carey Mulligan as Jenny Miller does the incredible thing of making her appearance not reflect her character’s attempt to be grown up. Without any kind of crass or vulgarity, these two far apart people in ages come into loving one another. Yet their love is not convincing nor unbelievable. What happens is that it makes a logical sense in their relationship. However morally it does not seem right, we do think that they can co-exist in a long term relationship. Peter Sarsgaard an actor of immense liking to choose his films does a smooth role of being genuine in conning everything.

“An Education” is not a cautionary tale but advises on educating the reasoning behind these exams, tests and admissions to these holy places of institutions. End of day, many of the kids taking this line learns but the retentivity power of those is questionable. Except the few, the experience of going to school and understanding the idea as best they can comes down to the molding of personality.

Written by Nick Hornby, the film does not twist itself and tortures to bring in the drama. Rather it lets how a girl cannot contain herself in growing begins to see the world they dreams of. Everything in the merry land of high life seems worth it for the smallest mistakes and comfortable ignorance. But the life as it is does not bend those not because of karma. Not because of higher power but purely by the actions of other people banging on each other.

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