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Tanya Khoury: A different beat
September 21, 2012
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There is something about Indie titles that makes me feel like I always need to stand up for. It’s like that child in school who people think is different and are afraid to approach. I feel certain protectiveness towards that world, whether the film turns out to be a success or a flop. After all it’s a courageous effort by some not so well-known actors and directors who want to say their part. This particular film Take This Waltz that premiered at the Toronto Film Festival comes from Sarah Polley, a director/writer and actor who brought us the beautifully paced Away From Her. 

Seth Rogan (Lou), Michelle Williams (Margot), Luke Kirby and Sarah Silverman are the main cast that the film revolves around. The story is familiar territory for Polley as the main focus stems from looking into your feelings and what drives you to make certain decisions. Williams and Rogan are that sort of happy/content couple who have settled in life, or routine if you will, and feel constant. Kirby is the character that comes in the story to disrupt the normalcy of the situation. Temptation, the fantasy of a different life, all those emotions that are in your head (the ones you choose to explore and the ones that are kept safely hidden) are all explored, and that is how the pace of the film continues.

We are taken through Williams’s perspective throughout 116 minutes of run time, how she interacts with her husband, what goes through her mind once she meets Daniel (played by Kirby) and what her friend’s perspective (Silverman) is like.  Margot is a writer and just like any writer there is a certain sadness that lingers within her artistic soul; she has an incredibly wide imagination and is not out there to hurt anyone. Life can be complicated like that, this is what I like about Polley’s films, her ability to highlight those emotions people become masters in hiding and portray them in the most normal of circumstances. This plot might as well be the story of a real-life couple living down the street from you and this is where many parts of the film hit home to so many people.

Lou is the stay at home husband and Daniel is an artist, quite a handsome one at that. The film does not look at couples in that cheesy ‘I’m going to cheat on my husband’ kind of way, but it slowly dissects what these feelings are like and why we react the way we do. The filmmaker is not coming out with a philosophical point of view, but at the end of the day this is a film with a certain message that many people may struggle with or choose to ignore. The one thing that jarred throughout the picture is the long pauses within the script. I understand the view of pointing things out and letting them sink in with the audience but we are stuck with that almost every scene. As much as the actors try to act, that pause and heaviness begin to show in the film and make it drag. I felt like we could have had more dialogue rather than all that stillness in the air.

Overall though, I come back to my indie film point, this is not your typical Hollywood title and many will not see it. It is definitely not the best Indie title of the year but it is worth getting out of your comfort zone a little bit. 6/10.
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