Dec 22, 2009

An Education

In life, when you try to take shortcuts it will likely not go well. That's what we learn from watching An Education. This is a story of a master manipulator. A story about being young and wanting to run off with more experience that your young soul can handle. It was painted with lovely music, smiles and giggles. It reminded me of being young and so full of naive love. There is also much betrayal and deceit in this film. Even better, it's filled with the intoxicating voices of Brenda Lee, Beth Rowley and Juliette Greco as the soundtrack. I would have to give my biggest musical mention to Duffy's Smoke Without Fire. It might be one of the best finales of a film I have ever heard.

Peter Sarsgaard has always been a favorite of mine. He is perfect playing the villain. If there were a villain that you feel bad for, it would be David, the character played by Peter Sarsgaard. Many people might think that David is a horrible person, deserveing to rot in his posh car or get arrested for his immoral dealings. I, on the other hand, have surrendered to David's flawless and charismatic manipulation skills and I am ready to defend him against anyone who thinks he should live in misery. You can hate him all you want but deep down you know he has gotten hold of your untouchable insides and can control you any way he pleases. I can't help but laugh at the admiration I came to have for David but that is the appeal of his character. He is really really really good at making the audience think that he is a good man who fell victim to some unlucky misfortunate events. 

You become entrapped in this fairy tail of a young girl played by Carey Mulligan who does a superb job playing Jenny. She teaches us that no matter how smart we think we are, we are never that smart. Jenny is a smart girl who have what appears to be a bright future ahead of her. Until she meets David, the man who promises everything she ever admired in the future. A future that's so far away but is very reachable because of David. He delivers on what he promises. He doesn't fool her into going in a dark dirty room and devour her innocence. At least not until he takes her to fabulous places- the most of fabulous places. Paris.

Jenny's parents demonstrate that the responsibility of raising a child and how incredibly difficult and burdensome it is. You realize that you can't blame them for letting this happen to their daughter. We are all inclinded to make mistakes in life. Even if that mistake is letting Jenny run around with a man more than twice her age while she is still in high-school.

Thanks to the great casting of Emma Thompson, Olivia Williams and Rosamund Pike the story is told with a sophisticated elegance. Along with Sally Hawkins who had a very short yet powerful scene. Can't help but think that Helen, played by Pike, may have been the only one that really understood the rules of engagement. Through out the film she is made fun of by people surrounding her due to her lack of smarts but when it comes down to it, she realizes who she is, who her company is and any consequences resulting from her actions, whether negative or positive. 

At times, An Education feels schizophrenic. So many different aspects of the characters are being buried then resurfaced then buried then resurfaced again. But this is what real people are like. We are continually fighting against our urges,what we think we should do, what we think other people should do and what we think what the right thing is. Go see it, it'll do you some good.

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