Revolutionary Road, DVD
Five out of five stars
This movie features two astounding performances by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. The setting is 1955 and they live in the Connecticut suburbs and have two children. The husband/father works in an office for a company called Knox and the wife/mother is a homemaker. From all appearances, they have an idyllic life, at least as married life was depicted in the fifties.
Yet, there is an undercurrent of instability in their relationship, neither one of them feels as if they are truly living. The DiCaprio character mentions that he once thought that he did not want to end up like his father, a Knox functionary that retired as a Knox man.
They make plans for the husband to quit his job and the entire family to move to Paris, where the wife will support them as a secretary for a government agency. The DiCaprio character was in Paris earlier and felt that he was truly living when he was in that great city. Given that it was the fifties, the thought of doing such a radical thing, especially the wife earning the living, is one that their friends find disturbing. It turns out that actually doing the deed is more difficult than they both thought, leading to severe strains in the marriage.
There is a male supporting character that is the son of the local realtor that helped them buy the house. He is a mental patient, speaks very bluntly and plainly and looks a great deal like Ted Kaczinski, the mathematician Unabomber.
Overall, this is a movie that debunks the fifties concept of the ideal marriage. The couple are both extremely unhappy, looking for a change from what they can both see is leading to decades of monotonous routine. In true fifties fashion, cigarettes are always burning, the cars are really cool, there are no black people and nothing else is as it seems to be.