The Hours

“Did it matter, then, she asked herself, walking toward Bond Street. Did it matter that she must inevitably cease, completely. All this must go on without her. Did she resent it? Or did it not become consoling to believe that death ended absolutely? It is possible to die. It is possible to die.”

Three women, one a writer in the year 1923, one a post world-war 2 housewife in 1951 and one, a successful publisher in the year 2001 start a new day of their life, together. Weaving through their life, linking them together is the novel, ‘Mrs. Dalloway’ being written by the first woman, ‘Virginia Woolf’ in 1923.

Last Tuesday, i watched ‘The Hours’ on UTV World Movies. Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman star in this story of three women searching for more potent, meaningful lives. Each is alive at a different time and place: all are linked by their yearnings and their fears. And it is this yearning, this shared struggle which every woman will relate to, sometime in life.

Virginia Woolf, in a suburb of London in the early 1920‘s, is battling insanity as she begins to write her first great novel, “Mrs. Dalloway“. Laura Brown, a wife and mother in Los Angeles at the end of World War Two, is reading “Mrs. Dalloway”, and finding it so revelatory that she begins to consider making a devastating change in her life. Clarissa Vaughan, a contemporary version of Woolf‘s Mrs. Dalloway, lives in New York City today, and is in love with her friend Richard, a brilliant poet who is dying of AIDS. Their stories intertwine, and finally come together in a surprising, transcendent moment of shared recognition.”

The direction, the cinematography, the cast is superb, Nicole being worthy of the Oscar she bagged. The background score, running as a clear stream of memories, merging and fusing comes into its own on crucial moments. As a man, i could only sit at the border of comprehension, bewildered at what goes inside a woman’s mind. But as an individual human being, i could very well relate to their dilemmas, their struggle for survival even when everything seems to be going just right, their notions of existence, the wish, the need for an independent ‘self’ before everything else, and this is what the movie brought to the fore. i just wish i could have watched it with Dee besides.

“Dear Leonard. To look life in the face, always, to look life in the face and to know it for what it is. At last to know it, to love it for what it is, and then, to put it away. Leonard, always the years between us, always the years. Always the love. Always the hours.”


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