Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Hours

            I had heard of the movie, “The Hours,” shortly before starting this class. When I realized the movie was based on several characters reading Mrs. Dalloway, I made a mental note to myself to be sure to watch the movie after we finished the book. So a couple days ago that’s exactly what I did. I don't really want to give a movie review. I can honestly see how different people can take the movie in different ways. At points it's a bit slow, and overall a bit depressing, but not surprisingly so.  What I found most fun about watching this movie however was trying to guess which characters in the movie represented characters in the actual novel. For this reason alone I would recommend watching the movie.
            A very nice aspect of the movie is that it shows the lives of three women simultaneously, and how reading Mrs. Dalloway has effected them. One of these women depicted is Virginia Woolf, who is played by Nicole Kidman who I must say is practically unrecognizable ( She actually wore a prosthetic nose for the role). Anyhow I found seeing Woolf’s life played out very interesting. It almost sets up Woolf's life as a character herself, and was personally a reminder for me how much of her own life comes through her novels.
            The second largest role in the movie is a character actually named Clarissa. The story line is that she is throwing a party for her friend who is a writer and has won an award. Her friend jokingly calls her Mrs. Dalloway but it is interesting that at many times we see how her life has literal connections to Clarissa Dalloway of the novel. For example, the movie starts with her buying a bunch of flowers for the party. We also see that many of her relationships throughout the movie resemble similar relationships described in the novel. What I liked about the movie but also what frustrated me was that it really played around with names of the characters. In the movie the writer whom Clarissa is throwing a party for is named Richard. Clarissa in the movie is actually married to a woman named Sally. However, just like the book the movie depicts that there is some distance in their relationship. Sally even brings home flowers for Clarissa and tosses them aside when she sees that the house is filled with flowers already.
            The movie has nice one liners that really make you reflect on the novel, for example, Richard tells Clarissa 'Oh Mrs. Dalloway always giving parties to cover the silence.' This line in particular made me think how in everyday life we ourselves do things, to “put on a show,” or a façade, and just in general distract ourselves from dealing with silence which often fosters reflection of the inevitable truth of what may be conflicting us.
Another line that relates, is when one character asks the other what the book she is reading (Mrs. Dalloway) is about, and she replies, 'this woman who's a hostess and incredibly confident and she's going to give a party, and maybe because she's confident everyone thinks she's fine but she isn't.'
Moments like this and just the fun of trying to pinpoint whose character represents who in the novel makes the movie quite enjoyable and something I’d recommend.

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