Writer: Ezekiel Lee Zhiang YangWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects:
NACinematography: Watch this if you liked:
"The Son's Room", "American Beauty", "The Sweet Hereafter"
Heavy on Oscar nods, "Revolutionary Road" is a muted horror movie for young couples, riding on the brilliance from the "Titanic" reunion of Kate Winslet and Leo DiCaprio, as "American Beauty" director Sam Mendes continues his suburban fixation with some compelling source material from Richard Yates' book.
Clocking in just under two hours, an amazing 1950s production design will have you glued to a story about a couple who meet, get hitched and start living out a nightmare of a marriage. Slow-burning themes of disillusionment, family dysfunction and human failure hang over Frank and April Wheeler, in what must be an excellent adaptation from the rich book this writer concedes not to have read.
Although the powerhouse performances from the two leads are truly theatre-worthy, the problem with "Revolutionary Road" as a feature movie is perhaps, precisely how overly excellent an adaptation it is. The pacing of the film is so very much like reading a book - you end up reading the movie. Something painfully predictable seems to lurk at the end of every scene, regardless of how Winslet and DiCaprio hack it. The absence of familiar cinematic punches can turn the show into a chore. Sometimes these people are simply so real, it's boring.
Trust a madman to point the way forward - Mike Shannon ("8 Mile", "Shotgun Stories") delivers an awesome turn as John Givings, a relative to the Wheelers whose societal detachment enables him to dissect their problems and present them in the most cruel yet truthful way possible for all to see. This outrageous, most inappropriate behaviour is reminiscent of some of the things Kevin Spacey does in "American Beauty", and this briefly relieves the movie of its monotony. Kathy Bates ("Misery", "Dolores Claiborne") stars in this too.
Sometimes, the sharp arguing in this movie is very heartbreaking. While there is no groundbreaking profundity in its content, the sheer negativity of this movie does make it a heavy watch. Not for the thrill seekers, though it does have some re-watch value for those who are going through marital woes.Cinema Online, 17 April 2009