Revolutionary Road is based on the well-received novel of the same name, written by Richard Yates. Frank Wheeler (Leonardo DiCaprio) and April Wheeler, (Kate Winslet) are seen by almost everyone who meets them as the perfect couple. They are gorgeous to look at both of them and smart and funny. A glittering pair.
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Frank and April meet at a party and fall into an intense romance: April is an aspiring actress and Frank an office worker with his father's firm. They marry and eventually move to suburbia the Connecticut version with their two young children.
Frank goes to work everyday to a job that he has disdain for, while April cares for their children and home. They are living an unremarkable life, though they see their situation as temporary. (After all, they are made for extraordinary things.)
April comes up with a plan: they will move to Paris, France for at least six months. She will get work as a secretary, supporting them while Frank will be free to find out what he really wants to do with his time on this planet. While Frank is hesitant at first, he soon plunges into the idea of living an extraordinary life in Paris. The suburban life they are living inspires neither of them.
The Paris plan seems all the more real when shared with their friends Shep and Milly though there are signs of trouble ahead. When the young couple argues, they do so with unbridled emotion. Both have very brief affairs; Franks with an attractive young secretary at the office and April with Shep.
Two unexpected events conspire to rip apart the Paris plan. April becomes pregnant: This leads the couple to speak of a possible abortion, knowing that a new baby would change everything. Frank is offered a considerable promotion as a chief executive of a developing computer department at his firm.
Frank does not immediately take the promotion and April buys an abortion kit as a just-in-case measure though this completely rattles Frank. They have a huge argument, after which Frank takes the executive job and Paris is no longer in their immediate future.
Though the couple does not then settle into family life in suburbia. Tragedy unfolds when April attempts to abort her unwanted fetus. It all goes horribly wrong; she eventually dies from bleeding too much. Frank is then left with their two children. Perhaps ironically, they move to New York.
The once golden couple is not forgotten by their suburban neighbors but spoken of in hushed tones as a cautionary tale of sorts to newcomers.
Best part of story, including ending:
Revolutionary Road is a filled filled with tension. You feel uneasy throughout the movie, as if you are unsure about what is going to happen next. (Of course, you are unsure but the atmosphere of the film makes it clear that this is not going to be a typical slice-of-suburban-life movie.)
Best scene in story:
Frank and April have a neighbor and her son John over for dinner. John is mentally unwell and is undergoing treatment at a psychiatric society. He says what he is thinking, without filtering out what might be deemed as unacceptable to others. The dinner itself is my favorite scene in the movie, with John saying what is true but usually unsayable.
Opinion about the main character:
There are two main characters here - Frank and April. Frank is dishonest; a trait which weaves in and out of theirs, making things unpleasant. April is likeable though unable see things clearly; if she were able to find more joy in her immediate life she may not have come to such a tragic end.