Film Review: Carol

Posted in Reviews, Top Stories by - March 23, 2016
Film Review: Carol

Carol is a beautiful picture with a plot-line that will twist your stomach and destroy your heart.

Adapted from the Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 Novel “The Price of Salt, this film follows the lives of Carol Aird(Cate Blanchett) and Therese Belivet(Rooney Mara), two women who couldn’t be more different. Aird, with her love of luxuries, and Belivet, a simple, but complex individual. The one thing they share is their irrefutable attraction to each other. We’re introduced to Carol as she is purchasing a toy for her daughter, who she appears to be a sub-par mother to at first. Therese processes the sale, but also notices the beauty and mystery that comes along with Carol. It almost feels as if Aird is the predator and Belivet is the pray; she sees something she likes and goes after it. Of course, it evolves into something much more special than that; it evolves into love. Pure, honest, powerful love.

Of course Carol is set in the 1950’s, so one can imagine how two women in love, no matter how true and beautiful of a love it is, is unacceptable. The forbidden love leads to paranoia on Aird’s behalf, which then leads to Belivet discovering a gun in her suitcase, and the unraveling begins. Director Todd Haynes impeccably adapts this into a film, a risk as many of us in the modern world finds a love story between two women ordinary. It is essential to the story that they portray this as taboo, forbidden, and inappropriate. As you can imagine, Carol’s husband finds out about the affair, and his actions are as despicable as one can conjure up.

Although the film in provided with an incredible story to tell, through Highsmith’s novel, the task of adapting this and creating power through the theatrics cannot be undervalued. Rarely is a screenplay properly written, much less executed. Even rarer than that is a narrative in which you can argue the film is more powerful than the book, and argument I believe to be true in this case. Performances by Blanchett and Mara, along with Kyle Chandler’s role as Carol’s husband, Harge Aird, really drive the film to excellence.

Unfortunately for Carol, it missed out on winning an Oscar, and disturbingly so. This narrative is really a test of who you are as a person. If you can watch a film which is able to capture love in it’s purest form, and you aren’t touched, you simply don’t have a heartbeat. Be on the side of love, and give Carol a view.

Official Trailer:

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