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Blue Valentine

Cast: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams
Director: Derek Cianface

Whenever I see anything related to Blue Valentine in Tumblr, I'd always tell myself that I should go and see the movie myself. After all, it's Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, two actors who are terrific in their craft. Sad to say, despite being well-shot, the film went flat somewhere in the middle. I did like it, but this is not one of their best work, or simply, it has missed its mark.

Derek Cianface brings the audience in the boiling point of Dean and Cindy's marriage. We meet each of them with their own different personality; Dean was outgoing while Cindy was uptight, and their had a daughter, Frankie. In order to understand how they became together, we are transported to their past through flashbacks. Dean was outgoing, but he was a hard worker, a romantic and he didn't dream to become a husband or a father. He was simply living in the present. Cindy, on the other hand, has a harder time grasping the notion of romantic love, as she grew up in a household that lack it. I think she was easily swayed by Dean's outgoing, persistent presence, something that she hasn't had in her life. He was someone who debunked her notion of romantic love. However, as we are transported to the present, it seems like what they had was only a spark, and they might have been taken away by circumstance. Cindy was evidently not happy. She wasn't content and wanted something more. It was further aggravated with circumstances with her life. Dean, on the other hand, has taken accustomed to being a loving father and a good husband. However, the charisma Cindy fell in love with was gone. Dean was not hardworking, he was simply cruising life, and seems to make things difficult for Cindy.

It was inevitable that at one point of their relationship, they were going to break up. I think that's what we were set to see. No grand show of changing for the fellow spouse. It was smack down the middle of the tipping point of their relationship. I think that's what makes the film in itself a bit unique. It doesn't show some grand gesture of change, but we were brought into the lives of an ordinary couple whose end is about to begin. However, when marriages fall apart, there's usually a character that we are sympathetic to. This time, I feel that there wasn't. I wasn't feeling sympathetic towards Cindy because I think she was at a point in her life that she can make her own decisions. I think that she just decided a bit too late. She was not straightforward with Dean, she herself was in a state of confusion. I don't blame her being lost, as when she entered the relationship with Dean, she was already lost. She wasn't looking to be found, and she was written in a way that she passively accepts what is thrown to her. I think she could have done something even from the start. The way she is portrayed, her life is hard, but I think she could have done something about it.

Even Dean wasn't the person to sympathize with, and I don't think he's the bad guy. I think he's just used to living in the present, and has not grasped the meaning of owning up to his responsibilities not only as a father, but as a husband. He thinks he's connected to Cindy but truth is, he's not. He is as disconnected to her as she is to him. He was someone who performed for the sake of responsibility, not because he was willing to. I think that's what went wrong with him. If he did love Cindy, he should have been able to detect it. She was being fairly obvious in a subtle way, but he didn't even get a hint of her discontent. Maybe he did know, but just turned a blind eye.

The film was shot artistically, with each scene depicting where their character is coming from. I like that it has a sense of realism, and that it was subtle in showing the audience where the film was headed. However, I also think that maybe because it was being subtle that it was a bit everywhere. The movie tried to focus on their characters through their own bits but small parts does not really explain the whole of their character. We're expected to put things in perspective, based on what is presented. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams were fit for the role, as they portrayed Dean and Cindy very well. They had chemistry, which worked for them, because if they didn't, the realism of things wouldn't have clicked. They had a blur of a love story.

The movie didn't bring anything new to its genre, nor does it give an impact. I think it failed to hit the mark that it was targeting. It does show a side of realism, but it's not enough to carry the film, nor to provide critical acclaim for it. Although good, there always seem to be something else missing. It was well-shot and well portrayed, but as far as putting everything together, it doesn't strike as unforgettable and would probably pass as a film one would take a second look at. 


  1. I saw this film when it came out, in 2010, and I had high expectations because everyone was going crazy over it and Gosling was already a thing back then. I can't say I was in love - I remember really liking it in the beginning, but I sort of forgot the rest of the movie, which had me thinking that it's not that great. So, looking back, I'm inclined to agree with you.

    Still, I found it very realistic and refreshing, with some great acting from both leads, but I'll have to watch it again to be sure. I'm honestly at that point where it could be a disappointment or it could become one of my favorite movies.

    Thanks for featuring me in your blogroll, and I'm loving your blog. Looking forward to new posts!

    1. They were great in the film; it had a feel of realism, and they had chemistry together. However, something was off for me. Have to take another look at this though.


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