Ordinary Love Movie Review: It Is A Tortuous Gem On Coping With Crisis
Ordinary Love Movie Review: This is not an easy watch but a beautiful movie with striking performances
- Movie Name Ordinary Love
- Director Lisa Barros D'Sa and Glenn Leburn
- Actor Liam Neeson, Lesley Manville
Rating: *** ½
It is very hard not to love this film. At the same time it is difficult to forgive the co-directors for putting us through this at a time when we are all struggling to keep our morale from plunging to the ground. Ordinary Love introduces us to a 50-plus couple Tom and Joan, played by two of the finest actors, Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville from the UK. They look so comfortable together and so well-ensconced that it would require a director as equanimous as the Japanese Koreeda to not throw in a crisis in this tranquil domestic scenario.
So yup. Deal with it. Joan has breast cancer. She not only has to deal with this sickness but also with a husband who is as traumatized as she is and not very accepting of this blow that fate has dealt them. Understandably it is difficult to wheedle out any humour in this situation. But the master performers that they are, Neeson and Manville’s bickering arguing and shared nervousness will make you smile, specially the way the husband grills the doctors as though they are hiding vital information from him. During treatment Joan suggests her husband take a walk.
“Nope I’m staying right here,” Neeson is a befitting match to adversity. The film spares us none of the details of Joan’s treatment, and her conversation with fellow-chemotherapists shook me to the core. I would have avoided the film if I knew what was in store. But in that case I’d have been a poorer cineaste. Besides the two protagonists and their shared grief, there is little room for any other character to come into the bleak but sharp picture. Midway, the writers introduce us to a gay couple played by a brilliant middleaged Irish actor David Wilmot and and a young Indian actor played by Amit Shah.
Wilmot’s character is terminally ill, and gets to spend bonding time with Joan while Neeson bonds as a potential mourner with Shah’s character. Bonding on the brink of bereavement, so to say. It is an interesting checkered plot-board, somewhat manipulative but nonetheless effective because Wilmot is so good as an academician who is dying but won’t stop seeing the humorous side of death, something like an aging version of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Anand.
Ordinary Love is not an easy watch. I found myself despairing at the games of mortality that destiny plays on mankind. Who would know better about these games than us at this time?