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Geography is destiny

Cassie Pence

I have always been fascinated by the mysteries of love: where does it come from, why some people live for it, why some people loathe it, why some people are naturally good at and why some people are awful at it.Director Deepa Mehta explores these mysteries in her film “Republic of Love,” which aired Friday at the Beaver Creek Film Festival. It is based on a novel by the same name written by the Pulitzer Prize winning author Carol Shields.

The film stars Bruce Greenwood as Tom Avery, a successful radio personality who has been married three times. Ironically, his late-night radio show focuses on lamenting about love and relationships with other unlucky singles. He meets Faye, played by Emilia Fox, at a party, and their connection is instant – love at first sight. They come to find out that they have been living just floors apart in the same apartment building. Geography is destiny as the movie so often points out.But Faye is a little afraid of love, feeling it is impossible to live up to her parents’ perfect relationship. In one scene, as she and her father are having lunch, she says, “You and mom are perfect. You don’t even by gifts for each other.” And her father replies, “Your mother always said that we are each other’s gift.” Insightful nuggets of dialogue like this one are scattered throughout the film.As Faye and Tom fall deeper into each other, Faye realizes she knows all three of Tom’s ex-wives, which opens up a whole web of related relationships, thus the Republic of Love that the title refers.

Their relationship becomes even more complex when Faye’s father decides to leave her mother. Faye loses all faith in love. There is a delicate, symbolic scene when Faye is sitting in her mother’s home, and she hears her mother weeping upstairs. The weep sounded all too familiar to me, that of a broken heart, and it was as if Faye’s mother was crying for all broken hearts.”The Republic of Love” is a romantic comedy that replaces traditional Hollywood clichés with clever insights on love’s complexities. Fantasy and various themes are weaved throughout the plot, giving the movie a romantic-fable type feel. But it is the acting of Greenwood and Fox that truly sells the film. From infatuation, to breakup to reunification, the two actors portray the protagonists flawlessly. And as an audience member, I was truly rooting for Tom and Faye to find that romantic bliss in each other.



Arts and Entertainment Editor Cassie Pence can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 618, or cpence@vaildaily.comVail, Colorado


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