“Tragedy is a foreign country. I don’t know how to talk to the natives.”
Ever feel like you thought you had your life together, you thought it was going well, you were in a state of bliss and happiness, and then something comes along like a semi-truck and throws you out of your happy life off course? I have experienced it many times. It is the worse experience especially because I suffer from anxiety, depression, and ADHD which magnifies that awful come down from happiness tenfold. I have gone through plenty of times where I felt like I had my life in order and one little thing happens and so much feels like it is crashing down. After that crash I have to depend on the help from my parents which is the last thing I want to do because I do not want to depend on people and I know deep down they find my neediness to an added stress in their lives they do not want or need. When I get into one of these awful moods I do not feel like an adult anymore. Hell, who am I kidding I never feel like an adult I feel like an annoying, lonely, miserable, unaccomplished twenty-seven year old still living at home. I used to try desperately and relentlessly to get back to that happy, blissful state after a bad crash and when it did not come fast enough it would make me even more upset.
The character of Eleanor Rigby, the titular character in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her goes through something similar to my situation. But in this instance she has experienced something far more worse and tragic than I ever want to experience in my life.
At the beginning of the movie, Eleanor (Jessica Chastain) tries to kill herself by drowning. She survives her attempt and is brought home to live with her parents. Right away the mood between Eleanor and her parents feels a little tense. There is love between them but it does not feel comfortable. Eleanor in no way appears to be pleased to be back living with her parents, sister, and nephew. It is as though Eleanor has become a burden on everyone’s routine in the house. As a way to help her move forward, her father, a psychology professor, gets her into a class with a former colleague of his named Professor Friedman (Viola Davis).
Eleanor seems to just be floating through a cloudy life. You can almost feel the void and the emptiness and yearning for what she has lost. You can also feel a sense of desperation for something she does not even know she wants.
During class one day, Eleanor is handed a note by a student behind her. The note is from a man a few rows behind. When Eleanor looks back she sees a man waving to her. Right away she begins to breathe heavily as panic takes over her. She leaves right in the middle of class and the man follows. Outside she tells Connor (James McAvoy) to leave her alone. As he goes to walk across the street he is hit by a taxi. Eleanor reveals that Connor is her husband.
Slowly we, as the audience, are shown in small bits why Eleanor and Connor are no longer together. We see a little bit of what that emptiness and void and sadness is that fills Eleanor that brought her crashing down.
I cannot even begin to describe how amazing Jessica Chastain is in this movie. I mean, her performance is not earth shattering but the woman is just so unbelievably gifted as an actress. Every one of her scenes either by herself or with another actor was fantastic. It is not very often, especially nowadays, where you can feel the emotions the characters in movies go through because so many actors and actresses just cannot pull that off. Chastain is one of very few actresses today who one hundred percent believe her characters and feel every emotion they go through. No wonder the woman is constantly up for Academy Awards!
Viola Davis was fantastic as well. I liked how her character and Eleanor became close but not like super close on an emotional level. Their relationship was one that was like a no-bullshit friendship. They said what they wanted with very little detail and the other accepted it. There was a lot of roughness and sarcasm between Friedman and Eleanor. Davis was perfect in all her scenes. I did not realize until now that both Davis and Chastain were in The Help together. Literally not until this very moment did I realize that. Go me. I liked them a lot better in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her than The Help.
I also did not realize that there are two other versions of The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby. There is one told from Connor’s side and one from both their perspectives. I cannot wait to watch them. I really, really liked this version. I liked how you can see Eleanor’s perspective of a tragic situation and how she deals with it. She tries to move on but she wants Connor she wants that one part of her life that made her happy. The story may not be completely original but I love the way it was told by switching back and forth from past to present. After something tragic or deeply emotional happens that is all you do, you look back to certain happy moments and put them into perspective in your situation. Although not on such a tragic level as Eleanor I can relate to her and part of what she is feeling. That relation made me feel for her character and the story. You do not even need to relate to the story or the character to like The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her. As a whole it is a great movie that I recommend seeing.