Talkin’ ‘Bout A Revolution

Date posted on January 20, 2009

Here’s an absorbed, albeit very long conversation I had with Chrissie.I read the book and she watched the film, and this discussion sprung from it. I thought it was worth sharing, especially to those who have similar or contrasting thoughts about the story. I just think it’s mighty precious when something stirs you up the way this story did me and Chrissie, though you probably will have to have an insight on topic for you to appreciate this.

Warning to those who haven’t seen or read Revolutionary Road. The following transcript contains materials which might be considered spoilers 🙂

rzfdtwr
Btw, I finished RRoad last night
My off hand thought right now is that it’s mighty hard to make this into a film.

Chrissie
“finished”?
YOU WATCHED IT OFF THE INTERNET NO?

rzfdtwr
NO!

Chrissie
OH THE BOOK YOU MEAN
It’s like the most depressing thing ever no?
How’d you find the book?

rzfdtwr
Haha, well, I thoroughly enjoyed it. If enjoy can be even be said.
I’m so impressed by Yates. Ang galing nya magsulat. And I”m not just jumping on the bandwagon here. Sobrang galing nya mag articulate ng thoughts, considering how internal so much of this story is.

Chrissie
I can’t chime in because I haven’t read it. Hehe.
Well ni-thank naman ni Kate sa Yates sa kanyang speech. Haha.

rzfdtwr
And these characters, they’re so vivid on paper!

Chrissie
Totoo?

rzfdtwr
I loved it, but like I said, I imagine it to be mighty hard to translate into film.

Chrissie
Well, hindi ko tuloy majudge ang performances ni Kate and Leo … if they gave justice to the characters. But they were both so … hatable and likeable at the same time.

rzfdtwr
Kasi nga, I find it so internal, the setting so bleak and unfilmic. Feeling ko nga, if not for the fact na it’s a period piece, malamang, ang boring nito on film e.

Chrissie
Eh diba specialty ni Mendes ang suburbian setting?

rzfdtwr
Kasi it’s all house, office, occasional bars, ganyan.

Chrissie
So looks-wise, its very pretty and polished.

rzfdtwr
Haha, yeah… but even the story’s not that colorful kasi.

Chrissie
Exactly.

rzfdtwr
It’s so domestic, TOO much even.

Chrissie
Ang monotone ng story.

rzfdtwr
Di katulad ng Am Beauty. The characters at least are more quirky.

Chrissie
It’s like one whole movie about the disintegration of a marriage. Walang mga peaks and lows. Puro lows.

rzfdtwr
And even the turn of events. Dito, sobrang real lang talaga. There’s the point of admiration.

Chrissie
When you see the movie, we’ll have this discussion again. Kasi magkaiba tayo ng perspectives from which we are judging RR.
Well, you know na how I feel about the movie.
I didn’t LOVE it

rzfdtwr
I LOVE the book. But now pa lang, I can already safely say na making a movie out of this might not be a great idea.
At least, not in the context of a Kate-Leo-Sam movie.

Chrissie
feeling ko lang talaga naghanap sila ng performance movie, alam mo yon?

rzfdtwr
Shempre there’s that whole business of a long awaited reunion di ba.

Chrissie
Like “let’s see, what would be the total opposite of titanic? where we can show off our acting chops?”

rzfdtwr
If for that, yes. I guess that justifies it. Cause yeah, these characters are so layered and complex.

Chrissie
Despicable ba si Frank Wheeler sa book?

rzfdtwr
Hmmm… Not exactly. They’re both neurotic e.
Pathetic is more like it, sa book.
Kasi, he has aspirations, pero it is just revealed that he’s nowhere near his delusions of himself.

Chrissie
Kasi I couldn’t bring myself to despise him sa movie. Hahaha.
Sobrang naawa ako sa kanya.
And kay April. Pero foul talaga ang ginawa nya sa end.

rzfdtwr
Hmmm… Sa book, hindi foul.

Chrissie
Si April?

rzfdtwr
At least in my opinion. I think, they’re victims of their complexities.
Kasi ang coward ni Frank. Si April naman, ang lofty ng demands.
Though they both fed each other those things.
Shet, I feel so scholarly discussing this, hahahaha…

Chrissie
Hahaha.

rzfdtwr
But anyway, that’s my take on it.

Chrissie
It’s almost like I had to pick a side.

rzfdtwr
You can’t help but e.
You’ll really try.

Chrissie
But they both make good points.
Pero natamaan ako sa sinabi ni April
NAKS.

rzfdtwr
Which?

Chrissie
Kasi tama naman si Frank na, “I have the backbone to not run away from my responsibilities…” chorva.
Pero nung sinabi ni April na “It takes backbone to lead the life you want”, sobrang natamaan ako.
HAHAHA.

rzfdtwr
But you know what, the truth is, it’s as much for him as for her.

Chrissie
I know.

rzfdtwr
And he what he fails to embrace is the fact na there is cowardice playing into the whole dynamics. Tapos, his refusal to acknowledge it, parang pride na hindi.
But whatever it is, the end result is, he ends up compounding the problem by leading April on with false hopes.
ON her part kasi, she thinks he just needs the space, the push, taking his time. E hindi naman pala.
So may treachery, kung tutuusin.
She naman can’t find the compassion to see how demanding it all is.
And siguro nga, she’s being a bit selfish not giving him the least credit he deserves man lang.

Chrissie
Wow, treachery.
I think she was super selfish.

rzfdtwr
But then, it’s chicken and egg. You don’t know who started it all.
Isipin mo ha, he lulled her in with a promise of all this.
Then when it degenerates, he doesn’t man up naman.

Chrissie
Maganda ang to follow your dreams, pero if you have kids and all na … parang you have to adjust rin naman. Which is not to say you should abandon your dreams.

rzfdtwr
ZACTLY! Kasi, hindi naman impossible ang sinasabi ni April e.

Chrissie
Hindi nga.

rzfdtwr
Isipin mo, at the core of it is Frank’s insecurity kung may patutunguhan ba if ever yung ‘dream’ kuno. Kasi he doesn’t really have any thing concrete to aim for.

Chrissie
E kasi nga he’s the “man”! May presssure! If they go to Europe, April will work for the both of them. Haller, nakaka-emasculate.
Whereas if he stayed, e di may promotion pa sha. Haha.

rzfdtwr
Yeah… That’s her concession.
Ewan ko how it was in the movie, but here in the book, may factor kasi talaga na he presented himself a certain way to her e. SO alam mo yon, may false promise?

Chrissie
Ah, oo.

rzfdtwr
And not confronting it, and hiding from it (kasi nga ang emasculating), it’s him not being TRULY man enough.
Kasi di ba, as a couple, kung talagang walang hope na pala yon dahil sa di mo kaya… sabihin mo na lang.
Cause in the end, you just end up leading her on all the more. She’ll never abandon that desire or hope.

Chrissie
Hehe. Oo.

rzfdtwr
Even si Frank e. It’s, sige, let’s POSTPONE. Not really, ‘di ko na yan kaya e.’

Chrissie
Both naman sila at fault.
I guess I just felt for Frank more.

rzfdtwr
Yeah, I can see why. And I did feel for him too.

Chrissie
Kasi … I don’t like it if you just give up. “Give up”, because things didn’t go your way.

rzfdtwr
Pero naisip ko lang, he never did try to solve the core problem of that situation.

Chrissie
Hindi ko alam if the dialogue is the same sa movie though.
Feeling ko kasi walang mas hurtful to a guy than saying na he’s “not a man”. And April would say that to Frank a LOT of times.

rzfdtwr
Hmmm… that part in the trailer where he says, he didn’t run from his responsibility, wala sa book yon.

Chrissie
TOTOO?

rzfdtwr
Hmm, no. Not that way.

Chrissie
Yun kasi ang dating sa akin ni Frank. Like, he’s weak and all but he’s trying.

rzfdtwr
Ahhh… Yes, I see why you see that.
Me naman, ang nakikita ko there is a misplaced sense of what’s strong and not. Parang, to be really strong, you’d own up and set things right for the whole family.
And that includes calibrating their expectations especially if it’s starting to corrode the foundations na. The fact that they continue to go by expectations set long before and you’ve long abandoned pala, as head of the family.

Chrissie
So you’re saying na the shit would not have gone down if Frank had just said from the start na “I don’t want to go to Paris”

rzfdtwr
Yeah, because the truth is, he didn’t. At least sa book, yun ang nadeduce ko.

Chrissie
E kasi naman si April eh.

rzfdtwr
HAHAHA

Chrissie
Parang … how can you say ‘no’ to her?
Alam mo yon?

rzfdtwr
True, true… Pero yun nga e, chicken and egg. He never set her in her proper place kasi.

Chrissie
Shempre you want to make her happy and she had so much hope and happiness when she broached the subject. And I think Frank REALLY did want to do it.
Like, “Game, let’s do this!”

rzfdtwr
Yun na nga… ang pleaser nya.
And in the end, he makes false promises he never really truly felt he can live up to.

Chrissie
Tapos later on nag-flip-flop na sha

rzfdtwr
There I think therein lies his biggest mistake.
For her naman, I just think she’s a tough nut. Her ways, ganyan.
Pero, I’m not sure she can be blamed, because that’s precisely what Frank fell in love with sa kanya.

Chrissie
She’s mejo … not motherly.
And hindi sha compassionate.
Like, she’s compassionate when it’s convenient for her.

rzfdtwr
But the difference is this: She never wanted to be in that setup with a child. Na may anak, I mean. And she was honest about it.
And even wanted to do something about it (I’m not moralizing here a…)

Chrissie
But what did she want them to do about it? Get rid of the kids? E nanjan na yan eh

rzfdtwr
Hmmm…I’m not naman espousing abortion ano… pero in the context of their culture and society, that was an option.
Kumbaga, si Frank, nung nag-no sya, it’s not on moral grounds kasi.
Which would’ve been more acceptable.
I mean… dun, makikita na natin na maling match ito to begin with.

Chrissie
But I mean, yung moving to the city, having a second kid. It’s not like April did not have a hand in making those decision.
Tapos ngayon she’s saying na “OOPS, I hate this life pala.”
AY to the suburbs pala.
So si Frank parang, “Ah.. okay … sige…”Kamusta naman yon?

rzfdtwr
Sa book kasi, it’s more like, they settled into that life na because nothing was taking it to another place anyway. There was no move from Frank’s part, at any point, to revive plans that they’d take according to who they believed they were.
So dun mo nakikita all the more na Frank was really being a coward all that time. Na he was all talk but can’t really back his words up with real action.
And he kept playing at it, condescending and all while they lived on RRoad. SO that keeps the hope in April alive.
Kaya ang pungent ng false promise sa akin.

Chrissie
Hindi naman ganyan si Leo e
HAHAHA.

rzfdtwr
HAHAHAHAHAHA
So lumabas din.

Chrissie
Basta ang “vulnerable” kasi ni Leo.

rzfdtwr
Hahaha… you just can’t imagine Leo being all that.

Chrissie
Tapos ang galing ni Kate.
Kasi one minute I love her, tas the next, parang “ANOBA STOP BADGERING HIM!”
Dapat basahin ko siguro yung book.

rzfdtwr
While reading the book, I kept picturing their FACES! Grabe. Perfect sila!
But not because they’re weak and/or evil. But you just know na kayang kaya nila to.

Chrissie
Hahaha. Tapos when Leo cries, he cries like a little boy. Yung nagcu-crumple talaga yung face? Tapos hindi papogi at all.
Hindi sila papogi at paganda.

rzfdtwr
I can imagine that from the book. Saka that feeling of, hmmm… I’m all that, dun sa mga moments ni Frank when he’s starting to regain his sense of old self. It’s so Leo.

Chrissie
Basta, may part sa movie where Leo
ESTE Frank
tells April na “You love me, and that’s the point”
Tapos sabi ni April “No, that’s not the point. Because I LOATHE you..
GRABE. Sobrang naiyak si Leo
I mean, si Frank
HAHAHAHA

rzfdtwr
Hahaha… yeah, there’s that part in the book too. Pero abridged na ata yan.

Chrissie
Nainis ako kay Kate non.

rzfdtwr
Hahaha… me too.

Chrissie
Na parang “O, ba’t di mo na sha love? Because he won’t move you guys to Paris?!”
HAHAHA
OIST, teka mag-internet lecture na kami
SOrry to be abrupt. HAHA.

rzfdtwr
Hahahaha, sure. I can’t wait to watch the movie.

Chrissie
Let me know when you do! Yung performances nila ay worth the price of admission. Regardless of whether you like the movie or not. Haha.
So I guess Team April Wheeler ka. Hahaha.

rzfdtwr
Di naman.

Chrissie
Team Frank Wheeler ako.

rzfdtwr
Hahaha… Team Kate.

Chrissie
Or maybe Team Leo.

rzfdtwr
HAHAHAHAHA

Chrissie
HAHAHAHA

rzfdtwr
Osha. I’m posting this conversation in my blog, by the way, hahahaha… Seeya! Hi to Karkar

Chrissie
Hello rin daw sa iyo.

rzfdtwr
Go study!

 

And I guess it’s apparent that it’s really just two fans raving lengthily about their favorite actors, hiding behind the pretense of an informed, spirited discussion.

Let this simply serve as an indirect endorsement of the book and the film then 🙂

UPDATE:

This was taken in the evening of the European premiere of Revolutionary Road in Leicester Square. Kate & Leo themselves were there (without Sam Mendes) last Sunday (18.01.2009). As much as I’m tempted to lie and say that I did see them (no one will know any better anyway), the truth is mass finished at 7.30PM that when I got there, the red carpet entry was done.

Still, I consider it a personal milestone to be in the same country and breathing space at the same time as them two 🙂