Short Reflections from the Silver Screen: Husbands and Wives
US. 1992. Woody Allen.
Woody gives us a rational taste for married life; it is compulsive and there are plenty of hysterics. But, ultimately, this movie delivers deep meanings, wistful emotions and it is classic Woody Allen.
Can our fantasies ever escape the truth? Is there more to relationships than the passion? Why are things in life so complicated? Such questions and themes Allen likes to explore, and does so fervidly here through two marriages that seem happily complacent on the surface, but are really dismally repressed with problems ranging from sexual thirsts to mere attention seeking. As always in Allen’s films, the cast is spot on and bold in their performances of largely inflammatory and disparate characters.
The relentless camera that darts around the room struggling to keep up with the couples’ tirades adds to the invigorating and neurotic emotional states that they possess. These long takes cut with interview snippets of the characters and a narrator’s voice over that give the whole film a documentary feel; it could even appear as an extraordinarily well conducted reality TV show on Husbands and Wives.
*All reflections are from my film journal.