The Hours The life you can’t escape

 Ten minutes after the film opened, I had my doubts about whether I could understand the film. The alternating appearances of the three women, the constant cutting and switching of shots, and the ambiguous synopsis I had read prior to this seemed to be a sign that this would not be a simple story or three. However, about halfway through the movie, I started to cry. And it stayed that way until the very end of the movie. On the Internet, I saw many people saying that this is a movie about women. Others said it was a gay theme or simply didn’t get it, so I wanted to write down what I saw myself. It is also a kind of interpretation. A reading about women and completely unrelated to women.

This is not really a complicated movie, complicated only because the three stories intertwined seem too bland. A day in the life of three women. A very ordinary day, all seemingly linked by a book, Mrs. Dalloway. The connection seems forced because they are so different, Virginia Woolf – a genius, a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Laura Brown – a housewife, a woman transformed by genius. And Clarissa – an editor, a woman who waits for genius. They lived in different times and had different families, yet one thing did remain the same, and I always felt that this was what really united them. That is the dream that is still alive inside them, and the mundane life they face.

It’s like a cage that traps our dreams and suffocates us, so we can’t escape. For Virginia Woolf, this cage is the peaceful and tranquil life in Ritzmond. In order to avoid another psychotic episode, her husband Renard brings her to the town, buys her a printing press and starts a publishing house for her. But all these efforts could not give her the kind of “normal” life he expected. Because she was Virginia Woolf, she was destined to live for the true meaning of life. It will not be a woman who is content to enjoy the sun and the smell of grass of a man. Although this path is full of thorns and dangerous, and can even drive people crazy. But it is something she cannot give up. She envied her sister who could enjoy the pleasures of the world. When she said goodbye, she kissed her sister fiercely and asked, “Do you think I can escape one day?” The escape, perhaps, refers to madness, perhaps to her fate. But she couldn’t escape after all. Or maybe when the day is over. She had finally made her choice.

Returning to London, to the turmoil and noise of life could mean another psychotic episode, could mean death. And yet, she said, if I had to choose between death and Ritzimond, I would choose death.Renard looked at the determination in her eyes and cried. Because he finally knew that there are some people in this world, even though you love them so much, even though you would give your all for them, yet you will not be destined to keep them.

There is a great sense of loneliness and emptiness in such a person. This is a human nature, perhaps more or less in every person. It is just that some people do not want to face it, but choose to hide in the world of emotions and life to paralyze themselves. This is what Laura, a housewife, was living before she read that book, Mrs. Dalloway. Although the film does not describe what she was like between this day. But it is reasonable to believe that she was once likely as content as any housewife to have a small family of her own.

Her husband was a good man. Her son was also very cute, and her family was well off and making a good living. But what does this really mean to her? Before reading this book, she probably never ran away from such questions. Numbing her sensitive soul with the trivialities of worldly life. However, in this day reason, she finally understood that her love for them could not allow her to stay, she did not belong to such a life. Although she had always tried to be a good wife and mother, it was not something that was in her nature. She felt so much pain because of it that she even wished to die to get rid of it.

This is incomprehensible in the eyes of some people, why some people, with a car, a house, a husband and a son, with all this and still do not know enough. Isn’t that what life is all about? Is not life is such a piece of chicken feathers? Who does not live like this?Renard said to Virginia, “We have an obligation to eat, to cook, and you have an obligation to stay sober.

And Virginia said, “Only I, I, know what I want, and it’s my choice, my choice as a human being.”

There is never a death without a reason, only a death that is not understood. Sometimes when you see the nature of life clearly, that great emptiness will secretly carry the shadow of death together with it. Some people’s hearts actually understand this, so they choose not to see, they choose to escape. On this day, Laura did not end her life, but she made the decision to choose another way out of her life, a way that is not understood at all. She abandoned her husband and children. This is the most reprehensible thing a mother can do in the eyes of the world. And yet, like Virginia, she was brave enough to face her own nature. She was also brave enough to face the condemnation her conscience would have to bear in the years to come.

It is selfish or irresponsible. Sometimes we have to admit that she lived more like a human being. “No one will ever forgive me. Except for death.” She says at the end of the film when she goes to see Streep’s Clarissa. “But I choose to live.”I saw the subtle change in Streep’s face. In fact, I was moved by Laura’s words. Before this day, Clarissa was the opposite of our first two heroines, she was the Renard to Virginia Woolf, she was the husband and son to Laura. She was a prison for others and a prison for herself. She takes care of her former boyfriend Richard not so much out of love as because she is a mediocre parasite. And it is not something else that she is parasitic on. It is her own dreams. Because Richard is a man of talent. So she said to her daughter that she felt truly alive only when she was with Richard. So she was also angry at the way Richard looked at her. Because his gaze made her clearly aware that she was indeed a mediocre person living a mediocre life. This even made her cry hysterically when Richard’s ex-boyfriend arrived.

However, Richard understood everything, he lived to repay her. So he asked her “Mrs. Dalloway”, “Would you be angry if I died.”Of course she was angry. She felt they should live for each other. She called it being dependent on each other. Some people rely on being interdependent with others in order to justify their existence. Although she was also angry about her own vulgar life, she acted quite submissively.

Yet Richard says, “Mrs. Dalloway. You must let me go, and you must let yourself go.” Finally he leapt from the window in front of her and finally did what he wanted to do and was freed. Perhaps the world had long made him very impatient to live. Yet sometimes even the choice to die can be so unfreeing. He had lived ten years for her.

“Why must someone die?” Renard asked Virginia.

“For the sake of contrast,” Virginia said, “in order to make the living appreciate life more.”

“So who will die?” Renard asked again.

“Poets,” said Virginia, “those who dream.”

However, Clarissa did not understand, she felt angry beyond words, she just wanted to have a party for him. She did all the trivial and tiresome things and yet she felt unhappy and unappreciated. That is, until Laura Brown comes along.We are surprised to find that Richard turns out to be Laura’s son, the melancholy little boy who appeared in Laura’s day. Richard could never forgive her mother for abandoning them. So he arranged a death for her in her novel. Yet came his final moments, the moment when he himself finally decided to leave his cage. The picture of her on his knee seems to suggest to us that he can finally understand her.

“If I say I regret it, then I will be easier, better.” Laura said to Clarissa, “But what’s the point of regrets? When you have no other choice.”

Laura’s presence finally made Clarissa understand Richard’s choice. Sometimes it takes courage to face one’s true self. As Virginia said, “Running away from life is not an exchange for inner peace.” Richard and Laura are in fact the same people as Virginia at heart. Clarissa, on the other hand, is completely different from them. Therefore Laura thinks Clarissa is a lucky woman because she was born with a soul that can merge with this world. She can enjoy some of the things that this world brings to them. Her motherly love is a nature, which is a blessing. Although she herself was always unaware of it.

At the end of the day, Clarissa finally came out of her cage. There are times when you have to know how to let go, there are people you can’t keep, death is just a way to leave, and if it’s their choice, you just have to deal with it. No one has the right to blame or direct the lives of others. What we need to face is our own life, our true self inside ourselves, no matter how painful this process of realization is, even if it is the desperate path of death, no matter what kind of person we find ourselves to be. We cannot run away from it.

“Dear Renard, face life head-on, always face only life, know it for what it is, know it forever, love it for what it is, and then, give it up.”

–Virginia Woolf

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