'Revolutionary Road' Review By moviegeek

"I want to feel things. Really feel them."
  • Story
  • Acting
  • Directing
  • Visuals
Revolutionary Road is one of the glitziest depressing movies I've ever seen. The film wanders around the world of its characters, loudly presenting every issue at hand. On a positive note, it is well-handled, smartly-balanced, and precise with what it wants to say. The film bypasses conventional detours, presenting instead a realistic, throbbing viewpoint. Unfortunately, the movie is, how shall I put it...boring. I use that word in severe risk of sounding juvenile in my critique, but I hope the expansion of that critique proves otherwise.

Let me place the film where it stands. It's 1950's America. Frank and April Wheeler are happily married in the most modular way--they have the perfect home, perfect community, perfect kids. They live life "the American way". They aren't happy, though. Frank hates his job; April hates the routine. Spontaneously, she suggests that they leave for Paris. She will get a job there, and he will have time to figure out what he really wants to do with his life. They start planning their move. Work ties, miscommunication, and an undeniable sense of uncertainty create problems between both Alice and her dream and her husband.

The big selling point with Revolutionary Road is the reuniting of Titanic stars Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. I'll be the first to say that I felt they had little chemistry in that film, and they don't have any in this one either. Chemistry, however, isn't exactly a necessity in a film like this. Each star shines individually and neither outplay each other. Winslet gives the better performance, but, then again, her character is better written.

The camerawork for this picture is intensely intimate. The film never shies away from lingering on shots. The framing and colors are beautifully under-saturated. The rhythm of the picture is engrossing. The score is immersively rich. Revolutionary Road boasts many solid technical achievements.

Underneath every emotion in this picture, there is a consistent theme: breaking from conformity. Alice is upset that they have "bought into the same, ridiculous delusion" as everyone else about what they 'need'. What inspires every emotion in the picture is a desire to achieve a personal definition. They want to break free from conformity, but their ties with it hold more than they want to admit. They have been shaped by their fears of risk. This battle throughout the whole film is intriguing.

BUT. The filmmakers don't stick to this theme. The film wanders endlessly around trivial emotions about their love for each other, abortion, neighbors, and their breaking relationship. While all of these matters do come into play, the picture overemphasizes their individual worth. The film is really about their own personal battles, and should become reflected in these elements. Because the movie channels the reverse (using the underlying problem--conformity--to reflect the more generic issues--love, relationships, etc.), nothing pushes the movie. Nothing supports its ventures.

THAT is why the picture seems so tedious. The central point to this picture becomes scattered. Scenes drag on and on and on. We see things coming minutes before they are ever played out. Nothing ever catches us by surprise or sweeps us into emotional chaos. Revolutionary Road is so precise with its details that it leaves out the broad strokes of purpose and meaning.

This is a complex picture that drools with appeal--from its Oscar-caliber names to its high production values. Its complexity was its own curse. Revolutionary Road is a self-obsessed picture that secures solid results on many levels, but falls short on some of the most basic. This is a strongly-executed, misdirected picture.

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Comments (19)

  1. moviegeek

    Thank you! @BENZ

    4 years agoby @moviegeekFlag

  2. BENZ

    Man I hated Kate's character, poor Leo's doin all he can to make her happy and she's lettin the neighbour bang her lights out in the front seat of the caddy.
    Never the less it was an ok film, oh and top stuff on the review too, very impressive.

    4 years agoby @BENZFlag

  3. moviegeek

    @Supes ahaha. I learn new things every day I suppose :P The Reader was a much better film than this and gave Winslet a rightful win.

    4 years agoby @moviegeekFlag

  4. Daveactor7

    @Supes LOL

    4 years agoby @daveactor7Flag

  5. Dan

    "Yes, now on this part, Leo, make it look like you are REALLY givin' it to my wife"... "Yes, just like that" :P

    4 years agoby @dan1Flag

  6. Daveactor7

    Well they split now lmao :P

    4 years agoby @daveactor7Flag

  7. Diaigma

    ::with a Donkey voice:: "They never last, do they?" :P

    4 years agoby @diaigmaFlag

  8. moviegeek

    Oh! @Dave I didn't realize they were married!? News to me. I ignore celebrity relationships for the most part ;P

    4 years agoby @moviegeekFlag

  9. moviegeek

    haha @Dave That's actually interesting. I would have found American Beauty 100x harder to shoot than anything in this film :P

    4 years agoby @moviegeekFlag

  10. Daveactor7

    @movie lol i mean when they were kissing. Sam Mendes (her husband) had a difficult-nvm lol

    4 years agoby @daveactor7Flag

  11. Diaigma

    Thank goodness ;)

    4 years agoby @diaigmaFlag

  12. moviegeek

    @Dave they hardly had a love scene :P

    4 years agoby @moviegeekFlag

  13. Daveactor7

    lol Sam Mendes (the director) had a difficult time directing love scenes with Dicaprio and winslet in this movie

    4 years agoby @daveactor7Flag

  14. Wichy

    Great review, very thorough and detailed :) I didn't really care much about watching this, but I may decide to put it in Netflix eventually :P

    4 years agoby @wichitagalzlFlag

  15. Dan

    I like both actors, but I don't like them together.

    4 years agoby @dan1Flag

  16. moviegeek

    Thank you :]

    4 years agoby @moviegeekFlag

  17. Diaigma

    Never really had any desire to see this one. I got enough of Winslet and DiCaprio from the Big Boat Movie, but sweet review! :P

    4 years agoby @diaigmaFlag

  18. Dan

    Great review :)

    4 years agoby @dan1Flag

  19. Daveactor7

    Good review :D

    4 years agoby @daveactor7Flag