Leader Of The Queer Cinema English Literature Essay

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Klawans states as the story of a marital breakdown in 1950s Connecticut, Far From Heaven stars Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid as a white couple who are so superficially perfect. Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid successfully dwell in their roles in "Far From Heaven," an enthralling flashback to a well off northeastern suburb, Hartford CT in 1957-8. Quaid character is Frank Whitaker who is a top sales executive in a company who meets the insatiable needs of American consumers for the most modern appliances and gadgets. Frank's wife, Cathy, is too much the high profile model for the archetypal stay-at-home, take care of the children mother, and support your husband wife. Cathy believes she has the perfect marriage and two wonderful if not perpetually best behaved children. She is the perfect role model according to the 50's for women as she fulfils all the roles that the society expects women to fulfill like being a caring woman, supporting wife, loving mother. Women were born to be mothers and housewives according to the 50s. Together the Whitakers were living the American Dream.

Cathy's perfect life, however, is hastily devastated when she makes the dreadful discovery that the husband she loves so deeply is a closeted homosexual, who visibly married her as a means of hiding the reality from both himself and the world. As you see in the scene where Cathy goes to Frank's work to drop off some dinner when she discovers that her husband is in the arms of another man. Klawans (2002) says this clearly explained why Frank hasn't touched Cathy since their two kids Skipper and Princess were born. Frank utters that he is actually "sick" and wants treatment to cure his sickness; Homosexuality is just one of the numerous skewed outlooks of the 1950's that director Todd Haynes brings to light in Far From Heaven. Cathy, the ideal housewife that a local society paper has chosen to feature her as one of their profiles supports Frank completely, as if he really had an infirmity to beat. Frank is embarrassed and doesn't wish for support, just some solitude while he goes through session after session of therapy to try and make him "normal".

Klawans (2002) states that during this distress, Cathy turns for comfort to the most sensitive, dignified, intelligent, deep-chested, testosterone-voiced man she knows: her gardener played by Dennis Haysbert as Raymond, a black man. In one scene school boys throw a rock to the gardener's daughter because she is black. However the most significant subject in the movie about racism is the relationship between Raymond and Cathy. In the 1950s there was a big issue of racial discrimination between whites and blacks. Whites utterly believed that they were higher than the blacks in any aspect of life and blacks were second in all. Cathy having a black man as a friend was stated by local society writer Celia Weston who comes to interview Cathy as 'friend to Negros' which later on comes to mark. As in one of the scenes, Raymond takes Cathy out to a restaurant where Cathy's friends see them and creates an issue of a black man being with a white women and starts ignoring Cathy later on for being a disgrace for the white people.

Bacchus (2007) infers the movie's situation with the following words: "They both know they can't lead the comfortable social acceptable lifestyles without suppressing their mutual urges to be with whom they want to be." In Far From Heaven Todd Haynes has clearly highlighted three main issues of the 50s: gender roles and homosexuality and racism. Cathy portrayed to be the perfect housewife and mother who have nothing else in her life than to take care of her children and love her husband. Frank acting his whole life, pretending to be someone he is not, living a fake life then cheating on his wife with another man and then being declared as sick to be attracted to the same gender as it's not acceptable by the society. Raymond, Cathy's love which is an ignominy to Cathy's friends and the society as he is "black" and deserves hatred and cruelty according to the white-dominated society.

Although even today these things are still there in the society, maybe we don't really talk about it but it is surely there in our minds and in the roots of society where women are expected to be just housewives and obedient nothing more than that, where the only possible sexual relationship and love can be between a man and woman and where whites will get preferences over blacks any day. People are yet to change their mindsets and believe and revolutionize the society to a free place where people can do what they wish to do and not what they are suppose or expected to do.

"Far From Heaven" is an intriguing admixture of the old and the modern and surely the best picture of the year 2002. Where many movies fall short through anachronisms, an almost perfect attention to detail has been given by Todd Haynes to make this movie as genuine as possible. As in one scene, Frank swears but then later apologizes, since it is ill-mannered to do so. His homosexuality even as the film reaches its end remains closeted, within its indignity, as he secretly meets with his boyfriend. For Cathy and Raymond, whose acquaintance is vivacious but realizes that they are destined to remain apart. No happy ending for both of them because of the heartless and brutal society. Todd has truly managed to lay bare the human soul in a way that has never been done before. Cathy and Frank Whitaker may be far from heaven, but the film comes about as close to heaven as possible.