Wednesday, January 19, 2011
#35: Little Children
A chance meeting between two young parents turns into a passionate extra marital affair. A sexual offender tries hard to let go off his habits and finds himself helpless in doing so. An overly self-conscientous ex-cop thinks he has every right in the world to bully the offender's Mom while the Mom hopes against hope that someday her son would be able to lead the life of a good boy. These interlinked threads form the complex yarn that the film Little Children is.
It is complex not because the stories are difficult to follow but because they are pregnant with repressed emotions. Kate Winslet plays Sarah, a woman who finds herself drawn to Brad(Patrick Wilson)and soon transforms an innocent meeting with him into a relationship so serious they don't think twice before wishing to run away from their existing spouses. This story angle is the most engrossing of the lot that confront you in the movie that has what I would call a poetic pace. With some soothing photography, Antonio Cavalche does give viewer the leeway to sink into each of those stories but fails to grip an unwavering attention due to a slightly heavy storyline. I haven't read the book the movie is based on but I suspect in trying to give each of those stories it's due, something doesn't seem to gel in together.
Kate Winslet, however, is one reason why you should watch the movie-as she traverses the worlds of being the neglected wife, the reluctant mother and a passionate lover with consummate ease in a span of little over 2 hours. In one scene of jubilation she will sweep you off her feet with the nonchalant innocence of it and in another she'll break you heart with a rude indifference towards her kid. Jennifer Connolly doesn't really have much to do as Brad's wife and is nearly wasted while Patrick Wilson as Brad does enough to connect with a viewer with his emotions.
Little Children is at it's heart a movie about intense relationships - whether it's those between a mother and a son, a husband and wife or those people who want to re-establish their rapport with a society that they inhabit. Acceptance is salvation for these characters and they try within their means to get there. Such a journey for a viewer doesn't necessarily make for a fulfilling watch but surely an acceptable watch.