Saturday, July 6, 2013
Take This Waltz
It just proves that when women do the female fantasy, it's usually just as self absorbed as the male fantasy.
In the same way that the female lead exists only to embody the ideals of the male lead character's ego, the same occurs in reverse. The ideal woman in the male fantasy is a projection of his needs and desires but not herself a real person. Here in Sarah Polley's take on adultery and love triangle, the "other man," Daniel, played by Luke Kirby, is as anemic and flimsy as all the other typical objects of one's fancy.
Late in the movie Sarah Silverman's sister-in-law gave a (somewhat forced) speech to the heroine, Margot (Michelle Williams), which suggests that Polley is not completely unaware of the problem and that she must be, on some level, aware of the dark currents stirring at the heart of this fluff. However, I am unconvinced that she did fully explored the currents and knew clearly what they were about.
The movie makes half a case that it is sexual fulfillment that Margot lacks in her marriage and therefore what she seeks in her affair with Daniel, but it cannot make up its mind about the issue and drifts into other implications --- perhaps what she really needs is undivided attention to her! or grand romantic gestures! or a child! The author's own ambivalence results in the movie's indecision and ultimate demise.
As someone partial to a bit of pudge in men, it was impossible for me not to take the side of the husband (Seth Rogen) instead of the seducer Daniel. His adorably dorky laugh just ruins Margot's (unspoken) argument "My husband doesn't understand me."
It also bothered me for the entire movie that a young couple with such dismal jobs can afford such a beautiful old house in the heart of Toronto. Give me a break. She is a travel writer and his entire profession is to write and publish a cookbook on chickens. The practicality for Daniel is even worse as a rickshaw driver who doodles badly in his pleasingly messy apartment. It's a nightmare of paperback romance elements trying their darnedest to be artistic and quirky.
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