Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Movie of the Week- Far From Heaven
I was glad I picked up this movie- ‘Far from Heaven’. Julian Moore, Dennis Haysbert and Dennis Quaid stars in the movie.
You would be surprised about the way world functioned and thought a few decades ago. Things have changed a lot. So a familiar argument comes to mind. Is human civilization in the process of evolution to attain perfection? In other words is the world we live in better than the one yesterday?
The movie is taken at a time when the perfect American family consisted of an executive husband, two sweet kids- one boy, one girl and a beautiful wife (all whites).
The wife functioned as the homemaker. She had the duty to grow cultured and responsible children. They have to be taught the right manners, sent to school. She has to ensure that her husband is neat and presentable. Of course she can indulge in social activities as leisure.
The society ladies walked around in fancy hats and fur coats. They did social work and talked about rights for the colored. But the coloreds are to be kept at a distance in their own places. Sex was a naughty subject talked in hushed tones. Parties will be held to showcase the houses, furniture, children and the black servants employed. Black rights were seen as a namesake social mission carried out with the faith that it will never materialize. Gays were considered less than men.
So the Whitaker family fulfills all the norms and has been a model family to everyone around. Mr. Whitaker is the manager of a company. She appears regularly in the society ladies’ magazines. They have well furnished home and a black servant.
The calm and peaceful atmosphere crumbles slowly as Mr. Whitaker turns into an alcoholic. He is caught by the police. She learns that her husband is a homosexual. They opt for a treatment hoping for the miracle of conversion to heterosexuality. But sadly it brings no change in him except he turns more morose and drunk. He leaves her for another guy. She looks around for comfort and draws closer to a black widower. They are met with hostile reaction from the people of both the race. The black man’s daughter is attacked and he flees the city. She is forced to stand on her own feet as she loses her husband, his income and the familiar circle of friends.
I have no hesitation in saying that the settings are beautiful except for the leaves that had an artificial look. The film can be a bit lengthy. The screenplay turns the king once again as many poignant moments is churned out. The scene in which her husband asks for divorce, the people staring at the black and white couple walking together and the moment in which she has to stand on her own feet are some of the brilliantly enacted ones.
I always wonder what if I was living in a different, intolerant world?