This blog is now closed. After three years and 311 posts, I have decided to end this blog. I have enjoyed watching the films, reviewing them, and interacting with global readers.
If you are interested in contacting me, you can do so by commenting on any of the posts. The blog will remain live on the web. Thank you to all the readers for your comments, ideas, and thoughts. They were helpful, stimulating, and enriching. This is Alene, signing off.
May 25, 2012
Blue Valentine (2010)
When it's over, Blue Valentine is essentially a film about the birth and death of love between two people. It's symbolic of the love that's no longer ripe, but dead and cold. It's divided into two time lines - the birth and the death as the two interweave throughout the film. The birth shows joy and spontaneity as new love often produces, while the death brings on the uncomfortable knowledge that people can also fall out of love without understanding why it's happening. As such is the story of Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cynthia (Michelle Williams), who are a young married couple who face the reality that their marriage is ending. The film clearly shows that when a relationship dies, it's not always the things we say, but rather the internal storm that rages inside us that makes us lash out and hurt the ones we are close to. In a film such as this where it's dependant on the facial expressions and body language of its actors, I think Gosling and Williams showed great maturity in their performances. What I praise about this film is its honesty. It's so honest, that it's unsettling. It's heartbreaking to watch two people attack each other emotionally with words that cut, stab, and tear, but essentially necessary to show the death of the relationship. When Cynthia asks for a divorce, I think that's the moment she becomes a woman. Her decision showed she had the courage to take a hold of her life and the wisdom to recognize what was ultimately best for the future of herself and her daughter; while on the flip side, I thought Dean represented the never ending optimist, the romantic, the type of person you can fall instantly in love with, but his detached sense of reality eventually blind sights him from the needs of his family. Both characters are extremely flawed, and it's this sense of being damaged that makes the characters so real. I think there's a little bit of Dean and Cynthia in all of us, making me wonder, what would I have done in Cynthia's place.