Go see “A Single Man” starring Colin Firth!

I saw it last night with a friend, and highly enjoyed it. This Oscar-nominated film was Tom Ford’s directorial debut (he’s an accomplished fashion designer). Upon starting the movie, my friend and I wondered if it would be super depressing. I mean, basically it starts off with Colin Firth’s character dreaming about his late lover’s death. You soon realize the death recently took place, and has consumed his life (in a negative way, obviously).

But the artistic direction actually makes the sadness bearable. Here’s one example:

Ford doesn’t just show you a sad Colin Firth (his character is a gay man named George Falconer). Instead, he juxtaposes shots of his hopeless demeanor with shots of his “perfect” neighbors. The camera zooms in on their shiny smiles, polished shoes, and coiffed hair. But the images of the neighbors actually make you feel uneasy.

Their happiness seems ultra-contrived/fake when juxtaposed with Falconer’s mannerisms, the somber background music, and Falconer’s meaningful flashbacks. The family may look perfect on the outside, but Falconer’s life and sadness seem more real. This ambiguity of “What’s the ideal life?” sort of makes Falconer’s situation less painful to watch. This  effect was clearly achieved through Ford’s direction.

Still, Falconer is desperate, with plans to kill himself that day. He brings his gun to work (he’s a college professor), cleans out his office, and tells his class what he really wants to say (a change for him). But when he’s about to shoot himself in his car, he’s disrupted by an inspired student.

The rest of the movie shows the various happenings that keep Falconer from killing himself. But you sort of wonder if Falconer would have had the strength to kill himself anyway. There’s still a flicker in his eyes that makes you think he loves life too much (despite his sad circumstances).

I won’t say what ends up happening to Falconer. But I will say that the movie makes you think a lot about the intersection of will and chance. Sometimes you want something to happen, but fate has it otherwise. And sometimes you change your mind about what you want, but fate hands you what you originally wanted.  Does it really matter what you ended up wanting so long as fate is at play?

I definitely think so. Because your fate can change depending on your thoughts and corresponding choices. It might not, but it can.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Art, Life, Movies, Relationships

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