Imagine yourself at a crowded party talking to someone but really scanning who else is there. And then you see a dashing blonde smoking a cigarette and drinking whiskey at the bar. What would you do? Revolutionary Road is one of the rare romance movies you’re going to find on Rabbit Reviews. Featuring an excellent cast and an even better story about a marriage that’s slowly falling apart, Revolutionary Road is definitely a movie worth watching. If you ever wanted to know how movies actually felt back in the fifties, it’s your best choice.
It’s based on a 1961 novel of the same name by Richard Yates. There’ve been numerous attempts to turn this gripping novel into a movie ever since it was first published. Director Sam Mendes, who you might know as the director of American Beauty, Road to Perdition and Jarhead, certainly has a fascination with the American Dream. We could clearly see it in his debut and here it’s even more obvious. We’ll embark on a journey that explores not just love but also life. Although many claim they’re the same thing.
Some ten years after they first starred together in Titanic, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet are reunited. This time, under the direction of Sam Mendes, who’s Kate’s husband. This is the reason why he shot the love scenes between them from another room. I think we all get it Sam, and you’re a brave man. The supporting cast is even better featuring cheeky Kathy Bates and intensely talented Michael Shannon. Revolutionary Road is a movie that tried to avoid the usual romantic melodrama. Still, you can count on a couple of, in my opinion, lame scenes. We have to remember that the novel was published in the sixties and that it tries to capture that post-WWII sentiment.
It is the year of our Lord Satan 1948 and Frank Wheeler, a longshoreman living in Connecticut, cannot believe his luck. He saw this beautiful girl called April, an aspiring actress with a dazzling smile and she saw him back. They hook up and after he decides to take the same job that his father held for 20 years, they get married and move into a more affluent neighborhood. Both of them have hopes and desires, but life sometimes has other plans.
It’s always interesting to watch how people are handling the pressures of life. Especially if they are living in a decade so easily identifiable. But then again, we can do that with pretty much every decade in the last century. Disillusioned by the world war that also chipped away huge portions of religion, people had to resort to the only system that worked: tribal structure. And in the tribal structure, you are given a role you need to conform to, no matter what are your personal desires and beliefs.
This is so far from what you should be doing that it’s always so scary to watch people stumbling through life, screaming in despair only at their very end. But I’m getting too philosophical, again. Mostly because Revolutionary Road is one of those all-around movies where they managed to do everything right. From costumes, lightning, and cinematography to make-up, everything is very professional, just compounding the value of the story and performances we are witnessing. If you’re looking for movies like Revolutionary Road I recommend you check out The Reader, also starring Kate Winslet.
Director: Sam Mendes
Writers: Justin Haythe, Richard Yates
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Michael Shannon, David Harbour, Kathy Bates
Fun Stuff: Leo and Kate are good friends in real life. Because of this they were able to sense each others moves and give greatly improved performances. Their onscreen chemistry is palpable.