Tuesday, May 2, 2017
A QUIET PASSION (Directed by Terence Davies) ****
I’m a poet I doth admit; this film for me is a perfect fit.
I related to her solitude, critical mind and harsh morals.
Emily Dickinson (Cynthia Nixon) is so close to her family, she rarely treads beyond. She enjoys writing during the wee hours of the morning in the Amherst home. Her rejection of church and society’s repressive ideas about women fuel he verses which are mainly dark and morbid. The irony is her verses often coincides with the films scenes. Emily was quick to judge others, cast vicious comments like swift-moving darts at those who lacked moral fiber and wit – such as her brother Austen. Her poetry was inspired by truth and brutal honesty. No soft touch here; no nature worshiping here; no elation here. Just letting verses keep their rhyme much as she would play with words to pass time. And she paid the price for this. She was lonely. But her greatest rejection in life stared at her every day in the mirror: herself. She felt she was unsightly and suffered so much. She felt she was tainted with a mean soul. Even a suitor she would not allow to look upon her face, remaining at the entrance of her door that was ajar at the top of the stairs to address him. In the film death enters her life as she loses her father and mother, and is left alone with her devoted sister Vinnie.
She becomes incapable of walking beyond the gorgeous gardens of this maintains close ties with her family while becoming a prolific poet whose work becomes recognized after her death in 1886. The sparring dialogue, delightful wit between her friend and herself, her sister’s elegant devotion and her father’s austere manner whose wife suffered form loneliness and melancholy was all addressed in this film. It was a beautiful portrayal of a cloistered woman who locked in her feelings along with her body inside the house.
Elegiac in feel, the movie is a remarkable reflection of this poet who dies at the age of 53 from Bright’s disease. but whose poems outlived her. Her genius finally received recognition posthumously.