I didn't have the chance to watch 'Revolutionary Road' when it came out.I only watched it the other night and I was amazed.Before I watched it I heard that a lot of people didn't like it and thought it was boring and over the top so I didn't expect it to be that good.The film is set in 1950's America, in the suburbs of New York but I think people in 2009 can relate to this story probably more than people from the 1950s.Most young people today are stuck in jobs they hate telling themselves that one day they're going to leave,they're going to change their lives..but it never happens.They get too comfortable to try and start from the beginning again.The two main characters meet when they're young,fall in love and then get married and have kids.They both believe that they're different from everybody else(like most young people do)and that they'll never going to end up like those boring families who live in the suburbs.As they get older they realise that unfortunately they can't avoid this kind of life.Frank Wheeler(Leonardo DiCaprio,who gives a very good performance) works in a company that his father used to work and he hates it.He never liked his father's job and he never wanted to end up like him.Frank,like most young people, started working there to support himself and thought that it was going to be temporary but then ended up staying for a long time. Frank slowly realises that he is probably going to be working there for the rest of his life,just like his dad.
April Wheeler(Kate Winslet, whose performance is exceptional) who wanted to be an actress but didn't succeed,despises being a suburban housewife.She wants something different,something exciting and after a big argument with Frank she realises that they both need a change.
When they first met Frank talked to April about Paris and how people there really know how to live.April decided that Frank must quit his job and they should all move to Paris.She is going to work to support them and Frank is going to have time to think of what he really wants to do.The idea of escapism excites them and for a while it stops them from arguing.Frank and April are a happy couple again.
Unfortunately their happiness doesn't last long.April discovers that she's pregnant and Frank's boss offers him a promotion.The pregnancy doesn't stop April from wanting to go to Paris and she's even considering having the child there.However,Frank thinks that it's better to stay in America now they're going to have another kid and he's going to earn more money.April is even thinking of having an abortion.
A very interesting character that I haven't mentioned is John(Michael Shannon who I hadn't heard of before but I found him really good in this),the son of the realtor (Kathy Bates,one of my favourite actresses).
In my opinion, John,a former mathematician who is now under psyciatric care in a mental institution,is one of the most important characters in the film.He is very honest and sees things in a completely different way.John is the only person who likes the Wheelers' idea of moving to Paris.Everyone else thinks their decision is immature and unrealistic.John is regarded as the person who is not 'well' and shouldn't be taken seriously but he is the only one who speaks the truth.When the Wheelers tell him that they're not going to move to Paris after all, he feels dissapointed.The Wheelers probably gave him hope.He gets very angry with them and starts insulting them.He tells them things that are true but Frank and April could never admit to themselves.
There are many arguments about this film and the book that it's based on.A lot of people I spoke to think that Frank was logical and more down to earth and April was immature and should have taken antidepressants and needed psychiatric help.I think that April's decision does in fact sound unrealistic and immature but at the same time it sounds interesting and exciting.Apri hasn't been anywhere.She got married and had kids at a young age(like most women back then)and didn't really have the chance to do something else.She failed the only thing she showed interest in(acting),she didn't really want to have children and her and Frank argue constantly.So April wants something to happen that will make her feel alive again.I know,it's true that everyone has to conform.It's life.Everyone has to do things they don't like to survive.Some people are good at this but some people aren't.Some people can find enjoyment in something they don't like.They can easily forget about things they dreamed of doing when they were younger and just think of them as immature thoughts.They become exactly like the fake,no-personality people they used to hate but they don't care because they earn enough money and pay the bills and think that one day they might even get promoted.On the other hand, there are people that just do the things they're 'supposed' to do.Even when they get older.Some people are strong enough to escape(it depends on the situation)but some others are stuck in their situation and can't find the way out.
I think that April is ahead of most women of her time and even women of our time.She sees beyond everything that she's supposed to do.Unfortunately despair made her quit..