Marriage Story (2019) : Review

A deeply sentimental, real story of the average and everyday couple, by the time I finished watching this film I understood that it was a film that we could all relate to because it’s about the most simple and fundamental thing that surrounds it, in whatever form we experience it in – family and love.

Country of origin : United States, United Kingdom

Language : English

Directed and Written by : Noah Baumbach

Starring : Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, Laura Dern, Alan Alda, Ray Liotta, Julie Hagerty, Merritt Wever

Music : Randy Newman

Cinematography : Robbie Ryan

Released : 6 November 2019

Duration : 136 minutes

Genre : Family Drama

Charlie Barber is a successful theater director in Broadway, New York. His wife Nicole also acts in his plays, where she was previously a teen actress in the movie industry. The movie first begins with a montage of what Charlie and Nicole like about each other, but eventually we see that montage end where they are writing letters in front of a marriage counselor like person, and we understand that the couple that we heard from the montage is now actually going to go through a divorce.

Nicole gets a break for a new TV series and moves to LA with their son Henry. The two had mutually agreed not to get a divorce layer but when Charlie arrives in LA with happy news of a grant for his new play, he realizes that Nicole has contacted a lawyer and presents him with divorce papers.

The movie then shows the struggle the couple try to go through now that they have decided to take their separation via the law. Things get difficult when the lawyers fight it out and an immense amount of money and time is pooled into it, as they try to reach an amicable agreement. The movie then follows the couple and the future that they are led into, as they try to reach a settlement.

On a quick read through of the plot you wouldn’t find anything extra ordinary in the plot in itself right? That is exactly the thing that makes this movie so striking. Its the reality, and a relatable one at that which really wrenches our hearts as we watch it. Nicole and Charlie are the representation if not completely, of all of us.

Another striking thing that crossed my mind a lot was about how things just took a turn for the worst with actual divorce lawyers came into play. Now I am never against the concept of divorce, if a couple just cannot make it through at all without any happiness then it is always better to end it, on mutual agreement, which is better for both of them. When Charlie and Nicole first try to come to a settlement on their own, it wasn’t as harsh. But as they were tested with the time, effort, arguments and money over the lawyers they really reach their breaking point. And that was evident in the scene where the two of them really fight out after a few of their court sessions. Things that were never a problem before have been magnified, things no one meant to say came out, it really was an eye opener, or a very thoughtful moment especially for me as I watched the movie.

This movie is currently nominated for the Oscars, for Best Screenplay, Best Original Music Score, Best Supporting Actress, Best Picture, Best Actress In A Leading Role, and Best Actor in a Leading Role, all very fitting nominations indeed. Now I haven’t gotten a chance to actually go through the original soundtrack so I am not going to comment on that here, at this point (maybe in a future post!). Apart from the excellent performances by the crew, the highlight for me from this movie is most definitely, the screenplay. Well presented, and laid out in terms of the chronology and the occurrence of events and a seamless flow between the scenes. This seamless flow for the scenes was important for me, because the movie is in itself a roller coaster of emotions! Had those transitions not been the best, this movie would not have been at the point where it is now!

Would I recommend this movie? Most definitely. Especially if you are looking for something slow, family drama, and heart wrenchingly relatable.

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