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Away From Her A Film Review

1991 words - 8 pages

The film “Away From Her”, is a screenplay adaptation from the short story “Bear came over the Mountain” by Alice Munro. The story focuses around the relationship of Fiona and Grant, an Ontario couple married over 40 years. The couple is forced to face that fact that Fiona’s “forgetfulness” is actually Alzheimer’s disease. After Fiona wanders away and is found after being lost, she realizes that she can no longer live at home. Fiona has too much self-pride for herself, and too much pity for Grant, to subject him to her deteriorating mind. She makes the decision on her own to check into a comfortable nearby nursing home. The nursing home they choose has a “no-visitors” policy for the first thirty days of the patient’s stay, to let them adjust to their new settings. When Grant visits Fiona after the first month of her staying in the nursing home, he finds out that not only has she forgotten him, but Fiona has transferred her feelings to another man. The other man is Aubrey, a wheelchair bound mute patient at the nursing home. His wife Marian later moves Aubrey out of the home. As the distance between Grant and Fiona increases, Grant must sacrifice his own happiness for Fiona. This moving story, was told from the perspective of the director and screenplay writer, Sarah Polley. I believe that she used the film’s focus of Alzheimer, humour and intimacy between the characters to show an honest relationship of a forty-year marriage.Objectively the film is the struggle of relationship with a women suffering from Alzheimer’s. I think that the director, Sarah Polley used role of Alzheimer’s in the film as a metaphor for how memory plays out in a long relationship: what we choose to remember what we choose to forget. At a point in the film, where Grant drove Fiona, we get a glimmer that their marriage wasn’t all like it seemed to be. Fiona mentions a younger woman, a student of Grant’s who somehow had an impact of their marriage. Although Fiona doesn’t come out right and say it, the film implies that Grant may have cheated or at least was tempted to cheat on her. After that incident, he swore he would do anything for her. Grant retired from the university and they moved out to the cottage on the lake, where the two have lived ever since. It is interesting to see that memory is selective, and that through the whole disease she still seems to remember the things she wishes she would forget. Polley explores the dynamics of the survival of a long marriage, managing to do so without having to rely on flashbacks of a romantic past. The only flashback we see in the film is a screen shot of Fiona as a young woman smiling, no dialogue, just the image. I think the image isn’t mean to represents a romantic past of their younger years, but an ideal of health that Grant wishes he had back. He is attempting to cope with a new Fiona he doesn’t recognize, nor who recognizes him. I...

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