A romance drama film written and directed by DerekCianfrance, Blue Valentine tries to show the rise of a very passionate relationship and its equally emotional final fall. Michelle Williams and RyanGosling donned the dual caps of playing the lead roles, as well as being the co-executive producers of the film.
The movie shifts back and forth in time as we get to see the courtship and the final wreckage of the ship of marriage.
Dean is a school drop-out and works for a moving company, whereas Cindy is a student who lives with a set of parents who are unhappy together. Cindy goes to visit her grandma in Pennsylvania and Dean is in the same building helping a war veteran move; they meet accidentally and it is love at first sight for Dean. Things happen and they rush into a marriage when they come to know Cindy is pregnant even when they both suspect that the child maybe her boyfriend Bobbyâ€™s.
The focus shifts to show a weekend a couple of years later, when Dean and Cindy are together at a motel, away from home, trying to clear the issues between them. En route to the motel they stop over to get alcohol, where Cindy meets Bobby. Between small talk, Bobby asks Cindy whether she has been faithful to Dean. Intimidated and hurt, she leaves the store and tells all about the little rendezvous to Dean, who as is expected is visibly hurt and shaken.
|Blue Valentine Courtesy IMP Awards|
During their trip and even when they are at their motel, they continue to fight. Waking up in the morning and realizing that Cindy was called away owing to an emergency, a drunken Dean gets upset and creates a fuss at her clinic for leaving without informing him. A doctor who tries to get himself involved to stop the fight gets a hit on the face, and he in turn fires Cindy for the misbehavior of her husband.
When Cindy says that she is done with him, Dean is upset and tries to persuade her to give their relationship another chance. When Dean asks if she wants her daughter Frankie to grow up in a broken home, she retorts saying she doesnâ€™t want Frankie to grow up seeing her parents hate each other.
The film ends showing Dean walking away from Cindy while their daughter Frankie begs him to stay.
There are various incidents that symbolize loss, pain and broken relationships throughout the movie â€“ like how the movie opens with Frankie calling out for their family dog which is lost, the argument about how an oatmeal should be cooked, all showing the strained relationships within the family.
The father and the child seem to share a very special relationship, much more deeper than between the mother and the daughter. Dean, who is from a broken family, is portrayed to be the kind of man who loves one woman forever, as one who doesnâ€™t want his daughter to ever know pain and grief in life, and as a loving, patient husband who goes to extreme lengths to save their relationship. Cindy, on the other hand, comes from an unhappy family, and wanting to protect her daughter from growing up in a similarly unhappy home, is the person who finally breaks off their marriage. She is shown as a person who is reluctant to trust people for fear of being heart-broken, she is more career-minded and pushes Dean to fully exploit his potential and to make it big in life.
Sharing a couple of quotes from IMDB:Â
Dean: I feel like men are more romantic than women. When we get married we marry, like, one girl, ’cause we’re resistant the whole way until we meet one girl and we think I’d be an idiot if I didn’t marry this girl she’s so great. But it seems like girls get to a place where they just kinda pick the best option… ‘Oh he’s got a good job.’ I mean they spend their whole life looking for Prince Charming and then they marry the guy who’s got a good job and is gonna stick around.
Dean: I don’t know, I just feel like I should just stop thinking about it, you know, but I can’t. Maybe I’ve seen too many movies, you know, love at first sight. What do you think about love at first sight? You think you can love somebody just by looking at them? But the thing is man, I felt like I knew her, you ever get that feeling? Yeah, I probably don’t right… it felt like I did thoughâ€¦â€¦.She just seems different, you know? I don’t know, I just got a feeling about her. You know when a song comes on and you just gotta dance?
Cindy: What did it feel like when you fell in love?
Gramma: Oh… oh dear, I don’t think I found it
Cindy: Even with grandpa?
Gramma: Maybe a little, in the beginning. He didn’t really have any regard for me as a person. You gotta be careful with that. You gotta be careful with the person you fall in love is worth it… to you.
Cindy: I never want to be like my parents. I know they must’ve loved each other at one time right? To just get it all out of the way before they had me. How do you trust your feelings when they can just disappear like that?
Gramma: I think the only way you can find out is to have the feeling. You’re a good person. You have the right to say I do trust. I do trust myself.
The Guardian sums it up beautifully, â€œThe questions it asks are important: how do relationships fail? Is there a stage at which the unhappy couple can do something, somehow change course? Or do certain relationships have fundamental bad chemistry, do they contain the seeds of their own destruction? Or is it rather that each of the individuals involved is predestined to make a mess of any relationship and so by getting together they have, as the old saying goes, made two people unhappy instead of four? Most agonisingly of all, is the yearning for cure and rescue simply a tragically delusional prolongation of the pain?â€
This is a love story in all senses, but one that begins with happiness and ends with you sniffing and sobbing into your handkerchief.
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