Posted April 28, 2011 by Alex Moss Editor in B
 
 

Blue Valentine DVD/Blu-Ray


A heart-wrenching look at the beginning and end of a relationship that plays to the head rather than the heart.

A heart-wrenching look at the
beginning and end of a relationship that plays to the head rather than the
heart.

Films
have always had a love affair with the concept of love. Arguably they are
responsible for the demise of so many relationships that have bought into the
concept of ‘movie love’. What Blue Valentine does, which is so rarely seen in
movies, is tell the story of a relationship before and after the point of ‘they
lived happily ever after’. Indeed it does so with such brutal honesty that
romantics will need to stay locked in a room with roses and valentine cards to
avoid this film.

The
story follows Dean (Gosling) and
Cindy (Williams) in two different
periods in their relationship. The first is present day as Dean acts as dotting
father to their daughter while Cindy, the breadwinner, tries to come to terms
with her husband’s hostile and lazy ways. As their relationship begins to fray
flash back to happier moments as they meet and fall in love.

For
some the jumps in time may, at first, prove difficult to follow. The key is to
look at Gosling’s hairline that has receded with age. However, what director Cianfrance does so delicately is
capture that luminous glow of a budding relationship. All the scenes from Cindy
and Dean’s past are shot on film whereas the here and now is shot on far
grittier digital. The difference is slight but the effect brilliantly captures
the difference between the excitement of something new compared to something
worn and fractured.

While
the film has a loose script much of the dialogue is improvised. The resulting
effect is natural and therefore all the more engaging. There are no villains or
heroes here as both Dean and Cindy have their flaws. But this is what draws you
into them both. Dean is not some buffed up superhero and Cindy is no sensual
seductress. Instead these are people who you can identify with. They have
dreams that have passed them by and as such directly effect their lives
together, meaning that everything you see in the past resonates perfectly in
the present.

The
film, like the couple within it, went through various bumps finding its way to
the screen. At one point it was ready to shoot in 2008 before Williams’
ex-husband Heath Leger tragically
died. Determined that he had the right cast Cianfrance insisted that he would
wait until Williams was ready. On this evidence his judgement was flawless as
the film thrives thanks to the two central performances. Williams and Gosling
find a perfect balance in their on screen chemistry between romantic
interaction, that never panders to the notion of romance, and the inevitable
anger their lives lead them down. Gosling brings a shy charm to the role that
hides his more aggressive nature. Opposite him Williams, who was rightly Oscar
nominated for her performance, is quietly reserved yet able to be the stronger
of the couple when needs require. In the early days of the relationship
Williams’ energy is bouncing and delectably apple-pie before becoming drained
and damaged as time takes its toll. Together their relationship bristles and
sparks in ways that are charmingly familiar and painfully real.

The
last film you would want to see on a first date but Blue Valentine is the
perfect antidote to the Hollywood cliché of romance. As one character so aptly
puts it “I think I’ve seen too many movies” on this evidence all you really
need is Blue Valentine to tell you the pitfalls and reality of true love.

To Buy On DVD Go Here Or To Buy On Blu-Ray Go Here.


Alex Moss Editor

 
Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com