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Friday, August 7, 2009

The Bridges of the Madison County - as felt as I watched

Watching movies could be one of the richest experiences in life. It could thrill, tickle, frighten, haunt, challenge, even madden and most of all touch your heart. Being touched is unique of all and is possible only when you see a life in it as well as empathize with the characters in it. "The bridges of the Madison county" by Clint Eastwood is one such type.

The story is a beautiful depiction of a soul's freedom struggle from the clutches of social definitions. We all have dreams. It is sometimes defined and sometimes not. You wished it'd become true one day and totally forgot about it later. Because you got sucked into life. Life becomes all of a sudden too crammed and you are imposed to fight for your own place in your own life. How sad!

A woman living in Madison county casually encounters a photographer working for National Geographic and approaching her for a help to get the directions to a bridge in the county that he has come down to cover about. The casual encounter grows into an invite for a tea, then a dinner together, then an evening walk and finally a serious encounter in the bed. It is a life of fantasy for both for the next four days until the woman's husband and the kids come back from a state fair.

The whole story unfolds as the kids of the woman read her personal diary after her death. It feels to have a sense of immorality, a touch of eroticism and a flavor of incest. But buried under is the beauty of a girl's simple dreams, the pain of them being unfulfilled not because it never happen but because she could not. make it happen. The limitations of the social definitions, unaccommodating nature of life, complexities of human emotions and lack of empathy in people are because of what she could not.

Clint Eastwood, the photographer, asks Meryl Steep If she is happy in the little town in Iowa. She responds that she is quite appreciative of the quite nature of the town, the friendly neighbors, the clean husband and the loving teenage kids. Clint Eastwood interprets to her that she must be happy then. But she is not. Her dreams as a girl are never fulfilled. The happiness in his companionship is never felt before in her long marriage. She never felt before as erotic in everything of a man in her long sex life.

She feels the certainty of love in him and so does he. He proposes to take her with him but she does not want to. She does not want to break her husband's heart nor likes to set a wrong example to her kids. She can't live her dream as well as live her life. Life is too crammed to have a space for both. Some details of live have to be lived out while few are too precious to live out. They are meant to be buried under as dreams. Their four-day encounter falls that way.

The masterpiece of Clint Eastwood's direction lies in neither letting the viewer feel their four-day extra-marital nor allowing the air of fantasy of sex with a stranger fill up the space. He directed the movie away from all these issues and ideas to a honest and beautiful portrayal. He succeeds in his attempt to cut open a little girl's little heart and to give you a chance to see - to see what is inside! Well done Clint Eastwood and very well done Meryl Steep!

4 Comments:

  • "Life becomes all of a sudden too crammed and you are imposed to fight for your own place in your own life. How sad!"

    Well, it's this :). Rediscovering the past is an excellent hap, both in real and reel life. Well, right from Wuthering Heights, to, even the benjamin button case, it's all been only diary reading or lovely narrating. anyway. it was personally an eye opener :) for me, i will "look into" the film :).
    Off late, we don't get novels like wuthering heights and films like the same , isn't it? It's all been da vinci and bla-bla .... all fancy ;) ! Quality still going down, isn't it?

    By Blogger Raghu Sharma, At August 7, 2009 at 9:43 PM  

  • After reading your blog the story line and narration touches a hindi movie that Urmila acted. Its almost a similar plot that she falls in love with a photographer( then didn't even change the hero's proffession!!!) and she falls in love. Later on she comes to know that he is married. Then the stories moves in a different direction though...So basic point is that keep watching such classics and one day we can come up with a story for a bollywood or kollywood movie

    By Blogger thiru, At August 8, 2009 at 11:58 AM  

  • Yov Thiru,

    It is true! Let us keep the hope up that we join our hands one day to make a movie :)

    By Blogger Mani, At August 8, 2009 at 1:06 PM  

  • Normally I haven’t seen that much of English and Hindi movies. So that I can’t give any comment. But after reading your reply to Thiru I like u guys’ interest to produce movies. By gods grace if it will happen in future I want to play at least one small role in that movie)))

    By Blogger Karthik, At August 10, 2009 at 4:16 AM  

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