A HAPPY WOMAN, a woman of breath – Review

In A HAPPY WOMAN, the director Dominic Savage gives to see Gemma Arterton as a young mother overwhelmed, which no longer has a place in his family life as idyllic.

Film the introspection, the search for the meaning of life and the intimate reflections of an evil to be inexpressible is not simple. It is even almost impossible. Some tried this with a scene a little bit heavy and a mixed result (one thinks in particular of Knight of Cups de Terrence Malick). Dominic Savage, the director of The Escape – whose original title is more appropriate than A HAPPY WOMAN – very successfully immerse the viewer into the life, the journey, and consciousness-raising, sometimes violent, of Tara, a young mother at home. And the most incredible thing is that he actually, literally share this feeling of suffocation, just in the filming close up. Gemma Arterton, in addition coproductrice, is of all plans. It lends itself wonderfully in his game, his features, his smile, his eyes, his tears, his body to Tara.

A HAPPY WOMAN approaches subtly a topic still taboo and unspeakable in our society : the one for a mother not to feel fulfilled in spite of the nice little perfect family that she has built. Or the illusion of the perfect family dream. The one that is supposed to make a woman happy and satisfy her maternal instinct that no one, in our conformist society, does not call into question. Because a mother loves necessarily his children, is patient with them. It takes necessarily the pleasure to organize their lives, to educate them, play with them. After all, it is the flesh of his flesh. Therefore, how can we dare to express his anguish at the heart of what should be happiness? How to feel even the right?

The exhaustion of the mental load routine, in the torpor of gestures, automatic, lack of energy and the feeling of dying to small fires. How to cope with this bad conscience that torments the representation of the bad mother? Rarely a film has posed with as much depth and subtlety this question of the existential void of a mother that the presence of his children is not enough to fill.

“Portrait upsetting to a woman gasping for breath, A HAPPY WIFE is a very moving film about the choices and the price to pay to feel free and get back to the center of his own life.”

Because the suffering that eats away at Tara is much more profound than the predicament that his mother sees. When she speaks of this need of self-fulfilment, of personal achievement outside of his house, nobody seems to be able to understand it. Especially not her husband Mark (Dominic Cooper), who thrives in his role cliché of the man who works and provides a dream life to his wife and to his family. Mark loves his wife but has neither the time nor the inclination to worry about his desires. Tara no longer exists now through his family. Such a trophy symbolizing the success of her life, she has become the object of her husband, but emptied of its vital essence, more and more absent to itself. Woman adrift, it is lost sight of.

A HAPPY WIFE shows very well the survival instincts of these mothers, so weary, that need to sometimes escape from their lives became a prison, to propel themselves to new and dare to venture into their deep aspirations, back to what the psychoanalyst and storyteller Pinkola been ravaged calls in her book Women who run with the wolves “the house of their soul”.

The emotion overwhelms the viewer throughout. We want to take Tara in her arms, to comfort her, to reassure her, to give him strength not to pretend, to encourage him to grant the right to change things. The director, in addition to providing Jalil Lespert and Marthe Keller , small roles, however, decisive in the life of Tara, has also had the good idea to drag a beautiful metaphor of art in film, through the tapestry dates back to the Middle Age of The Lady and The Unicorn. The admiring of the work, Tara will also find there a meaning to the expression of his personal desires, deep, and intimate.

Portrait upsetting to a woman gasping for breath, A HAPPY WIFE is a very moving film, and never boring on the choice and the price to pay to feel free and get back to the center of his own life. We hope that it will speak to many mothers or mothers-to-be and hope that their spouses will find material for reflection… before it is too late.

Sylvie-Noelle

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A HAPPY WOMAN, a woman of breath – Critical
Original title : The Escape

Achievement : Dominic Savage

Scenario : Dominic Savage

Main actors : Gemma Arterton, Dominic Cooper, Jalil Lespert

Release Date : April 25, 2018

Duration : 1h45 min
3.5Upsetting
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