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Movie Critic Review: The Hours (2002)

"You know, that feeling?
And I remember thinking to myself:
So, this is the beginning of happiness.
This is where it starts.
And of course there will always be more.
It never occurred to me it wasn't the beginning.
It was happiness. It was the moment.
Right then."  Clarissa Vaughn  Meryl Streep

Movie Critic Review: The Hours
 

Based on the novel 'The Hours' by Michael Cunningham winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1999, The movie by the same name, merits the attention of movie-lovers not only because it replaces action,
the defining attribute of the post-modern motion picture, by intense visual representations
of consciousness and its afflictions, but also by achieving this through evocations of cinematic equivalents to powerful literary techniques such as free-flowing ideation (fantasy) and internal monologue. 
The novel on which David Hare, the screen writer, has based his ingenious scenario is the
source of a complex multi-layering of events and circumstances that would mark the film
almost frame by frame and impart on it a vividness rarely seen in a movie that tackles the
recesses of tortured minds.
While I have not read the novel as yet, it apparently was malleable enough to be converted
into this pleasureable cinametic experience.
The plot of the movie is a timeless interweaving of the lives of three women from different ages 
and places who only have in common the symptoms of the identity crisis suffered by many modern
and post-modern women. The originator of the tale is Mrs. Dalloway, a character created by the
novelist Virginia Woolf in her own image.   
 Mrs. Dalloway realizes that her life is meaningless since it is not decided by her. She struggles with the question: Who do we live our lives for?
For ourselves or for the others?
But the crisis is neither temporal nor spatial.
The English author Virginia Woolf took her own life in 1923 in Britain following her failure to resolve 
her crisis.
In 1951, in Los Angeles USA,  an ordinary housewife by the name Laura Brown, suffered the same bite of dissatisfaction and found that reading Woolf’s novel gave her genuine insight into her own misery. The movie toggles scenes between these locations and these ladies unknown 

ther just for us to test-ride his awesome time-machine!
A common denominator to the unrelated stories (apart from the sufferings) is partying!
The only party that went on uneventfully was the birthday party of Laura Brown's 
'ntented' husband.
But the years pass. 
Don't forget that the camera of Stephen Daldy has this time-travelling ability!
You can always rewind to re-admire Kidman's performance if you get motion-sick.
She, with that look in her eyes and in that over-worn gown!
She got the Oscar for this splendour of impersonification.
I wonder if she consulted with Jack Nicholson about this being....nuts!
Upon arriving in New York after the tragic death of her son Richard, Laura Brown 

(Julianne Moore) encounters Clarissa (Meryl Streep) the lesbian who once dated 
Richard (Edd Harrisand was preparing a party for him on the same day
he killed himself.
Clarissa realizes that she is suffering the same afflictions as Laura and that their roads crossed at Mrs.Dalloway’s story which was probably related to her by Richard. But Clarissa also gains insight as
to how Richard was affected in his childhood by the sufferings of his mother laura.
The switching and almost  juxta-positioning of frames in the movie scenes to denote temporal
and spatial variation reveals Stephen Daldry’s efficient steering of his.... “time-machine”
thus shifting time and location as if to induce
in the viewer the sense of intersection that
united these tormented characters into a stillness that echoes with questions about the meaning of life, creating an almost lyrical interchageability of characters.
This is much aided by the incessant, trickling and melancholic compositon on piano
by Philip Glass.
I rate this movie at 8 out of 10.

Note: The argument that movies that delve into the deep recesses of the human soul
are at risk of not being 'popular' is, as is shown in this movie, offset by a strong acting
performance and smart camera moves.
This has always been the case when one of this dark genre movies does not flip.
One has to make sure he can hire Nicole Kidman or the legendary Meryl Streep.
Julianne Moore is such a great actress. Have not seen much of her. Awesome!
I urge real cinema fans to honor me with some comments.

I want to make sure they liked my selection.

Special Thanks go to Mamoun Eltilib, Uganda.

                                     
   The Hours (2002, 114 min, color) 
   Cast:                                                          
   Meryl Streep Clarissa Vaughan
   Julianne Moore Laura Brown            
   Nicole Kidman Virginia Woolf
   Edd Harris Richard Brown

Screenplay: David Hare        
Music Philip Glass
Director Stephen Daldry
Global Earnings $108,846,072

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Comments

  1. I love black and white movies! This one looks like it could be really good, thanks for the intro and critique.

    ReplyDelete

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