Film: Married Life
Director: Ira Sachs
Cast: Chris Cooper, Pierce Brosnan, Patricia Clarkston, Rachael McAdams, David Richmond-Peck
Ninety Minutes have never seemed this long. Clearly you need good intentions and a lot of patience to watch this film. Yes it is well made and the intricacies of married life are there, but trust me this is slow death. Moving at a snails pace, the film neither unfolds interestingly nor is there a shock value that you expect.
Set in the late forties the film is pretty much about the life of a married couple, that of Richard Langley (Chris Cooper) and Pat (Patricia Clarkston). In a conversation with Harry (Pierce Brosnan) Langley confesses his love for Kay (Rachael McAdams) and later introduces him to her. But little does Langley know that Harry has fallen in love with her as well.
But hold your horses, Pats not the innocent housewife either she is cheating on her husband. Neither of them know and the only one who knows it all is Harry. The cunning man that he is plays the situation to ensure that it works in his favor. What ensues is a lot of drama, a bit of trying to murder and a lot of married life.
Slow, tedious and mind-numbing are words that come to mind with reference to the film. The whole film just seems so far-fetched that sitting through it, all you want is for it to end. Had it been something far more contemporary, quick it just might have worked. The period the film is set in, the colours and the super slow action does nothing for the film.
Conceptually it is great and has been executed well, but a time when the gratification needs to be decently quick this film takes ages. It’s not like the film is worth the wait, because over the 90 minutes very little has actually happened.
In essence the film captures the tiring aspect of marriage, the boredom that perhaps prevails. It is smart and witty at times but not the kind of smartness that makes you go wow. It’s more of a peek into someone’s life than a more generalized occurrence of married life.
This is one of those films which you either like or completely dislike; you need to go in wanting to see the film and that’s that. The retrospective nature of the film with Harry narrating the incident does not help make this film interesting either.
Technically the film is good. Though it is well edited and well put together the dullness of the script comes across strongly. The characters are elderly and thus expecting zesty lines or actions is stupidity. For all that’s there the film is well done no doubt but again it’s too boring to watch.
The actors don’t help either. Brosnan and Cooper enact their parts well, but having seen them in rather entertaining roles in other films, this one has them under perform. The image you have of them just doesn’t match with what you see on screen and that is a let down, in a way they have been stereotyped and nothing else would work.
Clarkston is outstanding; she is spunky and adds life to her character. McAdams just doesn’t look convincing and her performance isn’t either.
If you are seriously considering watching this film make sure you have piled up on snacks. You need serious persistence, this film is recommended for those who don’t get bored easily. For everyone else watch something else.