27 jul. 2013

My Review: Blue Valentine (8/10)

"Girls spend their whole life looking for Prince Charming and then marry the guy who's got a good job and is gunna stick around."

Blue Valentine might not be an easy movie to sit through or an uplifting one for that matter, but it is a great story that presents an interesting study about love and marriage. I wonder how many girls were disappointed after thinking this was going to be another chick flick. This isn't a movie you should go see with your date because it may leave you a little depressed. This isn't your typical anti-romantic film either because it doesn't only study the disintegration of love; it also pays a lot of attention on how the relationship and love was built in the first place. It is a very emotional film with some great performances from the two lead roles. The chemistry between Gosling and Williams is just incredible. It is also very well directed by Derek Cianfrance who went through a great deal of preparation and planning before making this film. He also wrote the script and allowed for the actors to improvise giving the film a very authentic and realistic vibe. Blue Valentine depicts relationships in such a way that it reminds the audience that films aren't made only for voyeuristic and entertaining purposes; they can sometimes be a mirror of the way we interact and relate with one another. Blue Valentine is such a film and I'm sure it will leave some people uncomfortable, but I'm still recommending this because it is one of the best films dealing with falling in and out of love. 

The film introduces us to a present day working class couple, Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams), who have a small daughter named Frankie (Faith Wladyka). Dean is very youthful and playful while Cindy seems a little frustrated with him at the time being. She's a nurse who once dreamed of becoming a doctor, while he works as a painter and has no other ambition in life than to spend time with his family. They are a very young couple and marriage seems to have taken a toll on them. Dean is beginning to lose some hair and he has lost some of his youthful charm, while Cindy is really displeased with the way things are going. The film isn't told in linear form as we see flashbacks of how Dean and Cindy met and eventually fell in love. So we have these two contrasting scenes overlapping each other during the entire movie, one showing how the marriage begins to slowly dissolve while the other focuses on courtship and how the two fell in love with each other. By doing so, Cianfrance slowly draws the viewer in by involving them in the story and also gives us important background information about each character.

The reason why I decided to finally watch this film is because I recently saw The Place Beyond the Pines, Cianfrance's latest film, which I really loved. Blue Valentine may be a little too depressing, but it still managed to draw my attention and get me emotionally involved with the characters. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams are great together and the chemistry was amazing. Those flashback scenes were so good that it hurt to see how the relationship had dissolved in the present day. Cianfrance created some relatable characters. Love shouldn't be this depressing and I know it isn't like this all the time, but couples nowadays fall in and out of love so easily that this is a film that rings true to life and in a way it is an interesting study as to why these relationships fail sometimes. There are some signs during the flashbacks that kind of serve as warnings as to why the relationship might fail, but love can be blind at times. This is one of those films that leave a lasting effect on the viewer and is open to many interpretations. It is not a film you go see and then easily can forget about and that is why I'm recommending Blue Valentine. It sticks with you. 

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