Monday, October 28, 2013
So I watched this movie the other day. Gonna go ahead and put a spoiler warning here, it's on Amazon Prime and Netflix (I think) if you wanna watch it. I don't get in depth but I do reveal the ending, so if that bothers you... anyway.
I didn't actually know what it was about, but Tom Hiddleston and Rachel Weisz were in it, and that was good enough for me. (Please note: I often make movie watching decisions like this. "Welp, it's got [insert name in it] so why the fuck not?" Results are decidedly mixed.)
So, it's about relationships ending. I just moved to California and am planning on divorcing my husband of nearly 11 years, so let's just say it is very fucking relevant to my life.
True story: I've never broken up with anybody before. I didn't really have any boyfriends in school (my teenage years were a goddamn mess and I didn't have the time or energy for friends of any variety) and so Greg was literally my first romantic relationship. I've never even broken up with anybody before.
A lot of the time, I don't know how to feel about it. I miss my friends and family, I miss Greg (in the same way I miss all my other friends, dude is literally one of three people I went to high school with that I still talk to, the other is my brother and the third is the person I moved in with), but I don't miss us in any significant way. I feel kind of numb when I think about it.
It's curious, how well the movie captured the end of two very different relationships, and how both of those really resonated with me in different ways.
Hester (Rachel Weisz) leaves a passionless marriage behind. It becomes clear, through the movie, that she's still fond of her husband, and he says he still loves her. He wants her back. This relationship serves more as a backdrop to the story between Hester and Freddie (Tom Hiddleston).
Freddie and Hester have passion, but Hester knows that Freddie doesn't truly love her- not in the way that she loves him.
I think of my separation from Greg as a quiet thing- when I told him I thought I should go, he agreed, and we were quiet and sad for awhile. But I forget all the fighting that had led up to it, all the little fights and the big fights.
The end of the movie was probably what cut the deepest, for me. Freddie says something to Hester very like "We're lethal to each other," and he means it literally. Hester started the film with a suicide attempt. Freddie is a drunk, and his fights with Hester are driving him more and more into drinking. But it really resonated with me, and I think I can say this with real certainty- a relationship, any relationship, that has gone sour is a slow poison.
I have watched my parents split up and get back together at least three separate times at this point (I would be fucking furious if they got back together again.) Countless friends have gone through dramatic divorces, quiet divorces, breakups of all varieties. I've had to frienddump people.
When a relationship has gone bad, persisting in it is like a thousand tiny little cuts. You scrape along each other and leave the other raw and bleeding, and you don't mean to. It just happens.
The end of that movie, man. Hester's husband wants her backs, offers to take her home, and she has to turn him down. It's hard for her- it'd be easy to go back. Like picking up an old habit. (I'm not gonna lie, that played a huge part in my decision to leave Norman- it'd be way too easy to go back to Greg.)
The moment he tells her it's over, and you can tell it's wrecking him as much as it's wrecking her. For all her insistence that he doesn't love her (possibly true), he truly does care about her, and that's clear.
That quiet conversation between Freddie and Hester the morning he leaves. Full of long, long silences. She shines his shoes one final time. He tells her that she should sell his golf clubs, to help cover bills. Asks her what she'll do with herself.
It's all so practical, in so many ways, and it was exactly like the last four days or so I spent with Greg. Which movies and books I would take, what to do about the animals, what I'll do for work when I get here, splitting the money.
The movie actually ends on a cheerful note, somewhat. You think Hester is about to try to kill herself again, but she's actually just turned on the gas fire and throws open the curtains, facing the day. I read a review about how it was supposed to signal the rebirth of England after WW2, and maybe it is. I don't know. (I think that sounds a little too cheesy pie, but I'd accept 'rebuilding your life after you think it's collapsed' and how that's applicable to all sorts of different shit.)
The cheerful note didn't register with me. I'm still stuck in the silence that came between his "goodbye" and hers.