So I watched a silly film this weekend, no actually I watched it a third time this weekend. I watch films and read books in snippets, in small snippets of time in between doing more constructive things, like cooking, studying or writing my weekly to-do-lists. This weekends silly film is a small indie film called “Take this Waltz” I call this movie silly because its kind of a rehashing of every other indie-rom-com/slash drama film made in the likeness of the baumbachs/Swanbergs and duplass brother films.
Films packed with witty language only people that attended an east coast prep school would ever use, and long shots of people staring at each other or being awkwardly playful, in ways no adult person I know ever does.
Yet like a fool I get suckered into and purposefully find myself watching these films. So this weeks excursion into this often annoying territory involved me watching Sarah Polleys “Take this Waltz” a sad introspective analysis of a young woman’s life as she falls in and out of love, while trying to make sense of the ever present emptiness that haunts her and those around her.
The movie itself is so drenched in light and bright colors that I found it to be tedious to watch in some spots. It also helped to give the movie a kind of dream like quality, it made it feel like this girls expectations and demands were as unreal as all the bright joyful colors her world seemed to be awash in. I don’t really know or maybe I am just overthinking it who knows. What did get to me were all the ways Margot tried so hard to overstate her happiness and all the ways she was over thinking it or over performing her happiness.
Here are some synopsis’s of this movie:
When Margot (Michelle Williams), 28, meets Daniel (Luke Kirby), their chemistry is intense and immediate. But Margot suppresses her sudden attraction; she is happily married to Lou (Seth Rogen), a cookbook writer. When Margot learns that Daniel lives across the street from them, the certainty about her domestic life shatters. She and Daniel steal moments throughout the steaming Toronto summer, their eroticism heightened by their restraint. Swelteringly hot, bright and colorful like a bowl of fruit, Take This Waltz leads us, laughing, through the familiar, but uncharted question of what long-term relationships do to love, sex, and our images of ourselves. — (C) Official Site
While on a plane ride back to Toronto from a writing assignment, Margot meets Daniel, a handsome stranger. An immediate attraction is formed and Margot is able to open up and discuss some of her fears and longings. A taxi ride back home causes Daniel and Margot to realize that they are neighbours and Margot admits she’s married. The summer-time heat and her increasing fascination with the handsome artist who lives across the street starts getting to her, and Margot is no longer sure if she’s happy in her marriage or if she’d be happier with her fantasies with Daniel. Written by napierslogs
Desire is an interesting thing because of how I feel it drives us to seek ever greener pastures with the assumption that maybe this is it, that maybe we have l finally hit the jackpot, that will leads us to true happiness. This jackpot is often not all we expected, and in the act of desiring we lose sight of what we have and find ourselves lulled into something that will bring back the very same feelings of emptiness that provoked our desires.
Often times elusive and wrong things as objects of desire, can have the strongest pull, in this movie the main characters attraction to the rickshaw driver has this effect. This new desire challenges and misaligns what she already has, and I think makes bigger the vacuum of emptiness that was there to begin with. We watch her struggle frantically with these new temptations, as she tries to strengthen her connection with her current husband through akward acts of playfulness and affection, that serve to only annoy and exacerbate him. Margot is an interesting character because sometimes the act of desiring more makes as lonely because we often assume those around us are not equally conflicted. But its evident in this film that the uber-comfortable domesticity of the two lou & margot is also kinda suffocating both of them. Its making them both feel unfulfilled but often in such situations even with the deep sense of unfulfillment only one person or in some cases both begin to look outside for fulfillment, for Lou his constant cooking might be it and for Margot the rickshaw dude becomes a good distraction.
Desire is a constant source of conversation in this film and we find the sage like wisdom comes from the alcoholic played by comedienne Sarah Silverman. Who delivers some interesting punchlines, and who in a way is almost like a prophetess the way her eyes are used to hint at how Margot is going to one day run blindly towards this new source of temptation.
In this movie we can identify with the bhuddist credo which views all suffering as stemming from desire. This desire and the inability to satisfy these deep vacuums within us lead to lives lead in a state of almost zombie like melancholia, that i see a lot of the characters in this film experiencing.
A particularly poignant scene in the film occurs when after attending a swimming class for grown folks the ladies are taking a shower in a public a shower. Margots character seemed elated at the attentions of the rick shaw guy who was watching her at the swimming classes the whole time. We find the ladies showering and having a lively conversation, while there is a group of equally naked but older ladies across from margot and her friends also showering. Then in a moment of comedic sarach silverman style comedy, miss silverman asks why she even attempts to shave her legs knowing she will be with the same person. Then one of Margots friends says something to the point of “Sometimes you only want something new” then one of the older ladies from across the public shower quips in saying”Sometimes new things get old just like old things did. This was one of those slap in the face moments for me. It captured the point of the movie and made it all the more melancholic and tragic, desire all the happy sensuous colors and brightness that filled the movie. Movies like this kinda make art worth pursuing every time you got a few minutes in our modern hectic lives. Art helps you perform a self-analysis that can be as enriching and restoring as a baptism.
Written and directed by Sarah Polley; director of photography, Luc Montpellier; edited by Christopher Donaldson; music by Jonathan Goldsmith; production design by Matthew Davies; costumes by Lea Carlson; produced by Susan Cavan and Ms. Polley; released by Magnolia Pictures. Running time: 1 hour 56 minutes.
WITH: Michelle Williams (Margot), Seth Rogen (Lou), Luke Kirby (Daniel), Sarah Silverman (Geraldine), Jennifer Podemski (Karen) and Diane D’Aquila (Harriet).