A story of two halves; not just of the two human beings that are inevitably involved in a film titled ‘Blue Valentine’, but of two different periods of time to which the film flips between.
The film opens to the present introducing Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams) and their child Frankie. The film flickers back to the roots of relationship achingly juxtaposed with it’s collapse.
With no glimmering beacon of a fulfilling and loving relationship the individuals were arguably looking to solve the need to be loved, that maybe explains their problematic take on it, instead of sharing it with each other. The film’s honesty is a relief as the beginning relationship is shot no brighter than it’s end, until perhaps the closing sequence. But this has been done before, (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind…)
It packs no punches but in its undertow serves a reminder how time itself can act as a corrosion to relationships. Like I said, there’s no optimistic revelation, but there is some beauty in its dullness. Unlike the relationships displayed in Control, which I have also watched recently. Putting it another way; there’s a level of bliss in it’s grit.
But it didn’t depress me beyond belief, like I was told it would. It wasn’t exactly inspiring either, and it didn’t need to be. It’s realistic but reflective, nostalgic and creative. However; if you’ve not seen it, you’re not missing much.
Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about the time between break-ups, and getting over that break up, being much like airports.
Please excuse my somewhat of a “Carrie Bradshaw” statement echo here, I know it’s a bit cringeworthy but hear me out for a second. Imagine the excitement of a relationship, with all the butterflies, all the smiles and magic, much like the moment you get on that plane taking you to a glorious new country you’ve never seen before! Adventure and fun awaits!
Alright, this isn’t what I had originally thought when comparing this, and I can feel your eyes rolling at me already. But, hear me out for a second, I’ll go straight to the point. When the magic and fun is over and you’re flying back home, you start thinking about what life you had before; how dull England can be, how you really don’t want to go work and what shift am I on… – yadda yadda yadda!
Sort of like thinking about your life before that relationship took off, no?
As if in a dreamlike state, you mindlessly walk through passport control and reach baggage reclaim. This is where you need to pick up the pieces that you knew before the holiday (relationship), you knew during it, but maybe with some extra “crap” you picked up over there.
But this bit, for whatever reason, takes bloody ages! Constantly looking for your stuff amongst other’s, that 28 inches by 21 that makes up you and your belongings; until it finally comes bouncing back onto the rickety old track of the conveyor belt. And then it takes a lot of strength to hoist that bag up of there, (well it does for me anyway!..)
And you’re onto the waiting room, I guess if you’re getting picked up or, like me, waiting for a train!
Someone once told me that time in an airport does not exist. As soon as you’re in building/space that makes up an airport; the only time you know is the time of your flight, or check-in time, or how much time you have to get a sandwich. Time is not like the time you know outside an airport, time goes slower, much slower. An airport is like a dream-like purgatory – the constant wait to reach somewhere better. That endless waiting to get to gate 23, or lounge check-in, or your train home.
For something that may not take that long, it drags, or seems to, and once you finally get there, to the next point – that wait is forgotten about. Just like you forget how long it took to get over the last break-up, or how slow it seems to go when you’re waiting (and wanting) to get over someone.
And flights get delayed, or even cancelled… Or if like me you’re a bit forgetful and you’ve got to go back to baggage reclaim to check you’ve picked all your stuff up, to make sure you’ve really got everything this time before moving on.
I think I’m still in the waiting room at the moment, with some extra baggage I’m taking home. “Time is a healer”, and I’m biding mine until this wait becomes something like it had never happened…