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Revolutionary Road, Part Deux

Posted in Interest, Life by thisisanexperiment on April 21, 2009

I was talking to my friend today, who told me that her friends didn’t think Revolutionary Road was particularly good. Well, I suppose to each his own, but I guess it would be important to kinda understand what the movie and novel was trying to convey and the cultural context, before watching the movie. That may help in appreciating the message of the movie, I suppose.

Richard Yates, the author of Revolutionary Road, on the novel:

I think I meant it more as an indictment of American life in the 1950s. Because during the Fifties there was a general lust for conformity all over this country, by no means only in the suburbs — a kind of blind, desperate clinging to safety and security at any price, as exemplified politically in the Eisenhower administration and the Joe McCarthy witchhunts. Anyway, a great many Americans were deeply disturbed by all that — felt it to be an outright betrayal of our best and bravest revolutionary spirit — and that was the spirit I tried to embody in the character of April Wheeler. I meant the title to suggest that the revolutionary road of 1776 had come to something very much like a dead end in the Fifties.[3]

In alot of ways, I guess the movie was about Death. Death of youthful dreams, I suppose. The fear that I find myself thinking of from time to time. The fear of ending up as the typical 2.5 kids suburban husband/housewife, questioning, ‘Where did our youthful dreams go?’ And to me, that is the essence and beauty of the story.

The more I think of it, the more I say, Go Watch It.

And I will consider watching 17 again.

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  1. austereprint said, on April 21, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    RR’s theme was by no means obscure. Neither was RR a bad film, the acting and the costume design, as you rightly pointed out, are on point.

    However, movies/plays on the same theme have been done before. The Hours for one. There seems little to differentiate RR – it’s got the same themes, the same ending, it’s even set in the same period.

    Similarly the death of the American Dream has been aptly tackled in Death of a Salesman and the Great Gatsby. Again both set in the post-Great Depression – 50s.

    I guess never having lived through the American Dream I’ll never truly relate to RR. Not that it was a bad film or anything.

    Watch 17 Again.


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