Are Dysfunctional Relationships The New Normal?

It’s difficult to label this movie as something that provokes an easy laugh. Rather it is the kind of movie that forces you to have a peculiar or uncharacteristic reaction that’s completely unnecessary, to begin with. And this aspect is the whole and sole of why Margot At The Wedding caught me off guard.

Beside the point, I specifically chose to write about the illuminating reality of conversations that bind the idiosyncrasies of two people in a kind of relationship that defines nothing but eccentric consequences. The characters walk in zig-zag lines to not only observe but shackle the bond of beauty itself into something self-serving and conceited. In short, you’ll find yourself bound to misery in its fullest dimensions. That is precisely what a dysfunctional relationship ought to explore as a deeply exhaustive yet thoughtful concept. Perhaps becoming unaffected to a point where showing little to no concern in matters besides yourself is the greatest normalcy of life, as we know it.

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The clever insanity and indifference portrayed is not shocking, but seems too real to be true. The kind of dispassion each character provokes in another through brutal honesty and constant justification humiliates the conventional families that are often plotted on-screen.

This same logic applies to Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected).

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I loved the unorthodox display of unanswered affection and unresolvable temperaments of each character. At this point, I feel a part of me exists as all the characters in the movie, including Malcolm, Ingrid, Jim, and Pauline. Margot and Claude taking the leading positions in my frame of mind.

In whichever way the concept of “family” is portrayed in this movie, it certainly sticks, in my way of thinking, as the epitome of perceiving the out-of-the-ordinary as completely familiar and relatable. There’s more than just seeing, but feeling the characters unravel in front of your eyes in-between the socially awkward, yet seductive, language of storytelling. And that’s one of the expert functions of good films like Noah Baumbach’s Margot At The Wedding and The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected). Both exquisite tools of knowing how often people wish to be confronted by their harsh and unwavering realities, within their own limits, regardless of how much or how little they care for it.

That bond

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When I woke up in the morning, I was quite aware of my dream, it was of one of my old houses in which I had spent a fraction of my childhood memories with very little time. As limited as this house was, it was one of my favorites as it stood floating on 19 floors, omitting the sharp sides of Mumbai and bragging about its beauty. There is only so much one can know about Mumbai but there is a lot of it to be seen.  The house was empty for a while, as the sun was slowly diving into the ocean my room was warm and orange; something that I adored of when I used to reside there.

After a few short moments I saw my mother giggling and striding towards my room with her sister, they both looked content and at par, as their talkfest towered I felt awkward to be there, it felt like as if I was becoming more and more intruding by my presence in that room, while I constantly kept wandering for the reason why they entered this room because it was my room. Very silly for a dream but it made me smile as I got back to reality.

That dream reminded me of a very simple yet ecstatic quote by George Bernard Shaw; he said that a happy family is but an earlier heaven, which is very true. That dream felt like it had some heavenly sight and meaning. The dream wasn’t about me cribbing about my mother and aunt’s presence in my room, but it was about how relationships over-look momentums, create them in admirable ways and last a lifetime. An earlier heaven it was, on the 19th floor, orange sky and warm breeze, my mother’s laughter and glistening smile to aunt’s jokes and stories.

It was just a dream. My dream.