Thursday, 20 June 2013

Take This Waltz

UK Release: 17th August 2012
Watched on LoveFilm Instant: Wednesday 19th June 2013
Rating: 15
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Runtime: 1hr 50mins
IMDb Plot Synopsis: 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.

My Review: I had been curious to see this film ever since it came out. This was mainly due to not having seen Seth Rogen in anything other than comedies, and so was interested to see if he could play it ‘straight’ in a drama. I am also a big admirer of Michelle Williams’ work and couldn’t wait to see what their chemistry on screen would be like, and if it could work. I nearly caved and bought the DVD, but I’m glad I didn’t as a few days later it popped up on LoveFilm. Oh, how I love thee!
This genre is kind of the epitome of my taste - quiet indie romantic dramas. You never quite know what you’re going to get though and it rests solely on performances, which thankfully were excellent. The film is essentially about Williams’ character Margot and her relationship with her husband, Lou, and new neighbour Daniel. In a sense Margot comes across as the typical indie female protagonist - quirky, off-beat, but somewhat troubled, hiding her darkness by wearing cute retro dresses and being spontaneous. In this case, it ticked all those boxes. 
I found it hard to like Margot, but that’s what I found most interesting. It would have been easy to make her likeable but instead she was, well, human. I emphasised with her, yet in her, my faults were reflected and so it was sometimes difficult to watch. I was impressed with this and her relationship with Rogen, while forced at times (you could tell most of it was improvisation), seemed reasonably natural for what they were trying to portray. 
There was something off between the couple from the beginning. You could tell they loved each other but, as Margot herself pointed out when they went out to dinner to celebrate their anniversary, it is odd that they never have anything to say to one another. However, it’s not as though he isn’t a really nice guy, who loves his wife - that was what made it all the more difficult. They felt at odds but both were desperately in denial to the situation and so, with some inevitability, Margot was instead drawn to the new neighbour. His introduction was compelling; they were seated next to one another on a plane, took a taxi home together and then discovered that they lived yards apart! He seemed to fill some sort of hole in her life and so despite attempting to stay away from him, she eventually caved. I was irritated at the lack of morals Daniel had in becoming involved in a relationship with a married woman, especially when she did do the right thing many times at first and walk away. 
What happens next was very unusual for a romance to address. When the destined couple comes together for a ‘happy ending’ the credits usually start to roll. But not this time. We see after the supposed ‘happy ending’ and how not so ‘happy’ Margot and Daniel are together as a couple. We see the aftermath of a woman leaving her husband for another man and what that does to everyone involved.
As Margot’s best friend (and sister-in-law) tells her in one scene, the new soon becomes old. And it is this theme which runs throughout. Margot leaves her old husband for shiny new Daniel, who soon becomes ‘old’. She is constantly looking for something new and, by doing so, will never be satisfied. 
The storytelling may have took its time and be subtle but it was very cleverly done and the cinematography left me breathless in places. I wasn’t expecting to like this film quite as much as I did and it has certainly stayed with me since. 

Score: 8.5/10

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