Halloween day at Liceo Fermi
The Hours: life is a choice
Time, time can be the keyword to describe “The Hours”. Not only because of the title itself but also because of the conception of time that is incredibly well balanced in this movie.In within the span of a day, in fact, are narrated the stories of three different women that are living in three different years. The only moment where this pattern is not followed is at the very beginning of the movie where we see Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman) that commits suicide and we know that happened in 1941.The first plot follows the life of the famous English writer while she is working on her book “Mrs. Dalloway”, Virginia is in Richmond and she has been sent there by the doctors because she has fallen into depression and they think that she’s going to feel better once she will be out of the crowded London.In the meanwhile the audience follow also the life of the housewife Laura Brown (Julianne Moore), she lives in Los Angeles and she’s pregnant of her second child, she doesn’t feel good in the place where she lives and she feels oppressed in the life she’s conducing.
The third story is settled in 2001, New York City. Here the protagonist is Clarissa Vaughan (Maryl Streep) and she is organizing a party to celebrate her good friend Richard (Ed Harris), a novelist who won a major literary award.The lives of the three women are so far apart in time and in history and yet they are so close if we consider their way of thinking and behaving. “Mrs. Dalloway” is the element that works as a link between the stories; Virginia is writing the book, Laura is reading it and Richard gave Clarissa the nickname “Mrs. Dalloway” because she focuses herself on the life of other people to get distracted from her own existence. Richard himself connects the second and the modern plot more than what we can think, only near to the end we find out that he’s the first son of Laura and that he has been abandoned by his mom because she decides, after attempting suicide, to leave her family. “I chose life” she says when she explains her story to Clarissa. Life is a choice then, like death is.
While Virginia chose death (“If it is a choice between Richmond and death, I choose death”) and Laura chose life, Clarissa is mourning the death of Richard, he commits in fact suicide before taking part to the party she organized for him. He lived until then because he knew Clarissa wasn’t able to get over his death. “That’s what we do. That is what people do. They stay alive for each other”, she says in a conversation with him. But, once he realized that he couldn’t stand anymore the pain that AIDS was causing him, he decides to end his sufferance. He says “I’ve stayed alive for you. But now you have to let me go” before jumping out the window of his flat.It’s curious how quotations from Virginia’s story justify what happens in other plots, for example, in a conversation with her husband Virginia says “Someone has to die in order that the rest of us should value life more”, she is talking about her book “Mrs. Dalloway” but if we take that phrase and we put it more in a global vision of the movie we can see how it can work even to describe how Clarissa’s situation can change after Richard’s death. Clarissa should, then, value life more than what she used to, “she’s confident, everyone thinks she’s fine.. but she isn’t” now she has no one else to take care of but herself, and she must take her position in life.
I really liked the movie, even though I thought that some parts were just superfluous because they were adding details to the story without changing in any way the plot. I liked how the movie was structured. I was able to follow all the stories without getting confused, not only because of the awesome control of the setting, the clothing and the photography, that were visually specifying in which story we were being the audience of, but also because I was interested in knowing how all the stories were developing.
I could identify myself in all the three women, not completely in all of them but partially in each of them. My favorite character though is Leonard (Stephen Dillane), Virginia’s husband. He really loves her and he tries everything to make her feel better even though what he tries is not enough. He sometimes reminds me of Clarissa because in the way she tries to save Richard, he has tried to save Virginia. And they both survived the death of someone they really love. I think there is nothing worse than surviving the death of a loved one, especially when they commit suicide. I would feel like I haven’t done enough to save them, I would feel miserable. I admire how they had the courage to keep living.
Life is really a choice, and sometimes we forget how easy it is to get lost in this world. Sometimes is hard to remember how beautiful life is, especially in times where everything we do seems not to have a meaning. Life is a choice, and we must choose to live it for ourselves, not because we have to be selfish, but because we are the only ones that know what we are going through, we are the only ones that know what we are able to do, and we are the only ones able to make that choice of living. We can live for someone else, because nothing is more beautiful then loving someone and being loved but.. before that, we have to feel good with ourselves, because we are always going to be with our mind and our thoughts, we can’t be divided from who we are. Peace can be found, in every second, every minute, every hour of our life.
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