If there ever was a film to portray the boring monotonous hell of life in surburbia, or should I say disturbia, then Revolutionary Road is it. Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet are back together again and on form as their characters struggle to do the unthinkable - do what they want to do, not what society demands.
Boy meets girl, churchbells, a few rug rats and bow, you’ve found yourself playing housewife and a fed-up nine to five office worker. Where did it all go wrong? After seven years of marrage, these are the questions Frank (DiCaprio ) and April (Winslet ) Wheeler begin to ask themselves.
It’s 1955 and this “swell” young couple appear to be living the dream life but behind closed doors they hate everthing about it as they had hoped to be special. However, the film shows Frank going to work in the city dressed in a dreary grey suit doing what is expected of every other husband - they all look like mindless clones.
April is equally unhappy, in fact the audience immediately knows that her hopes of becoming an actress have begun to fade and she resents being “trapped” by motherhood and the expectations of a fifties’ wife. It is April who decides enough is enough, why should they live like this? She suggests that they all move to Paris, a city Frank visited during the war and loved, and which seems to be the means to rejuvenate their lives. April offers to be the breadwinner while Frank is free to find himself again, an idea which is unheard of and completely strange to friends and work colleagues.
In fact the only person who seems to be on the same wavelength is John Givings (Michael Shannon ), a man being treated for severe psychiatric problems. Strangely this man, who completely understands the “hopeless emptiness” and the Wheelers need to shake things up, seems to be the only real sane person in surburbia - he at least tells it how it is. He is certainly the most likeable character in the film as he provides some of the best scenes.
The only problem I would have with this film is that it seemed a little dragged out. However, this drama certainly gets you thinking as it is very real and you can certainly imagine surbanites torn between what they want and what is expected. The acting is great, Winslet in particular looks stunning and I think this is her best performance yet. Word of warning though, this film is very much on the depressing side.