Sunday, 26 August 2012

A Single Man – Treasuring Those Moments in Life

Taking place over the course of a one day A Single Man is a beautifully told; romance, isolation and the connection between human beings. A gay university professor George Falconer (Colin Firth) has lost his boyfriend Jim (Matthew Goode) a year ago. Unable to cope with the loneliness and the constant memory of his love he decides to end his life. He is turning from middle age to the elder years of his life. He can’t quite grasp and see his future. The very idea of not knowing his own future drives George to suicide. His last day on earth will be making the preparations to his suicide. However the last day on earth becomes the most day he ever lived since the loss of his love. By encountering different people and speaking to them George reminds himself of previous moments in his life that he treasured. The films core structure is living everyday as if it was your last. In A Single Man we are subjected to a beautifully intense last day of George’s life.

Tom Ford exquisitely shows the moments in George’s life that he treasures by colour. When talking to different people George’s gloomy grey sense of colour becomes illuminated. Watching the cinematography transform gives the illuminated sense to George that the possibilities of being alive and human in the world. This is what draws me to the film so very much. We all have those moments in life we treasure. It can be sitting next to a complete stranger on a train and the smell of their perfume reminds us of someone or a moment in our life we use to be happy and it brightens our day. In Single Man we visually see the colours brighten in the cinematography. We are usually shown a gloomy grey scene become a gorgeously lit up scene. Emotionally we connect to the scene. Being a very melancholy and dramatic film about a man ending his life that we see these moments in his life that he treasures. Watching A Single Man, Ford doesn’t focus on the suicide at all. Tom wants the audience focus on how he lives his last day. Everyone George speaks to will be the last time they ever speak so we see Georges true feelings come out. We don’t need to know what their relationship was like before because this is the last time George will speak to them so we straight away know how he feels for them. He opens up to people telling them things he always wanted to say.

Through George the audience can really connect to him in so many ways and levels; the loss of a loved one and coping is shown in the dream like sequence when we see George drowning underwater trying to swim and find the surface makes the audience feel like their suffocating just like George. How we are reminded of our previous lovers, When George encounters a male Spanish prostitute Carlos (Jon Kortajarena) George is reminded of Jim by Carlos’s; hair, eyes and even how he smokes a cigarette. Being based in the 1960’s the implications of the relationship between Jim and George were very difficult at that time of history, so that makes George a minority. Not being able to be openingly gay during the 60’s and losing Jim makes the audience feel like George is suffering alone. Apart from Charley (Julianne Moore) his closest friend only knows about Jim and Sam, so George as to keep this secret to his co-workers and about his loss. So everyone that talks to him has no idea what’s happening to George.

A Single Man is a beautifully constructed modern masterpiece. What I admire most of this film is the focus the homosexuality at the fact it doesn’t focus on that at all. We are presented with the protagonist being gay and that is it. It doesn’t talk about why or when George is gay we just accept it. Personally I think this a perfect and modern way to look homosexuality. If the protagonist was straight or even lesbian the film would have been the same. The stunning visual and cinematography just takes your breath away. Watching George rediscovered the ability "to feel, rather than think"  and comes to terms with his grief it really does makes one remember the treasured moments in life.

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