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Revolutionary Road Analysis. Why does April not love Frank?

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In the leafy suburb of New York, the Wheeler family lives in a cute white house with soft beige carpets and carved furniture. Frank and April are a seemingly prosperous couple from America in the 50s. The family is like an advertisement: he is an office clerk, she is a housewife, and the children are a boy and a girl.

They are young and beautiful and have everything. What else is needed for happiness?

But everyone has their happiness, which sometimes has nothing to do with the American dream. The Wheelers followed a simple, understandable path leading them to a dark, dead end.

This film shows America during the mid-1950s. But even now, this picture reflects the reality of every second family. Revolutionary Road is a practical guide for young girls – what life might be like after marriage.

Today, I try to answer questions like: Why does April not love Frank? What is the relationship between April and Frank? I’ve added a few videos to illustrate my words. So, let us begin my Revolutionary Road analysis. 

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6 lessons for marriage from Revolutionary Road. 

It is essential to have shared values and interests in a family.

It seems to me that the Wheeler family is a typical example of an incompatible couple. They are just two good people. Frank needs another wife: quiet, homely, who adores her husband, children and home. And April needs another husband, more robust and capable of responsible decisions.

I want to talk more about their differences.

Frank Wheeler.

Frank always says, “I only know what I feel.” The need to love manifests in a continuous plea to April: Love me! Approve me! It is such demanding love! Indeed, Frank admires his wife’s beauty and intelligence. He likes how different she is from other women in their circle – Shep’s wife or the naive secretary from Frank’s office. 

Frank is trying to be a good husband and father, but he does not understand his wife’s desires at all. He has no idea why April acts so strangely.

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April Wheeler.

I see April as beautiful, sensual, intelligent, and remarkable. She is a lovely embodiment of a woman who can easily inspire and upset her husband. Frank was once fascinated by these very qualities of hers. In turn, she believed that he was special too. 

Frank eventually settles down and starts to feel content with his established life. He confesses to April that his romantic words about travel and Paris were just talk to please her. He makes an effort to persuade his wife that the idea of ​​selling the property and moving will not end well.

But April stubbornly refuses to give up on her dream. She can no longer be just a wife and mother. April wants more, although she doesn’t yet know exactly what. Only one thing is obvious: she has no place in an apron in the kitchen. Frank’s promotion and April’s pregnancy are a reason to put an end to this issue and continue to live as before.

We see entirely different people after seven years of marriage.

Poor communication in a family is dangerous. 

The couple has very destructive arguments – Frank attacks, April tries to leave or attacks back. They are like two lonely deaf people reveling in their sadness. It is worth paying attention to the last demonstrative quarrel. You will hear many words in it, but not a single decision or desire to resolve the conflict.

I think if Frank had known the extent of his wife’s despair, he could have sympathized with her. And if April could stay in contact with her husband and share her feelings with him, she would not feel lonely and betrayed.

It is important to remember we cannot solve all of each other’s problems and make our partner’s life a fairy tale. But we can share our pain with each other, and then it becomes bearable.

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Each partner in a marriage has their difficulties and crises. It would be good to know them.

DiCaprio’s character considers himself to blame because his wife is unhappy with him. It leads him to think that he has failed as a man. Frank’s internal conflicts between the risk of leaving and starting a new life and remaining stable are understandable. As the breadwinner of the family, he is inclined to favor security.

Kate’s heroine probably loved her husband. But she did not have the strength to express these wonderful feelings due to terrible unfulfillment, burnout and social pressure. And from here, she felt something between love and hatred for him.

In this marriage, the wife feels a “hopeless emptiness” and does not know how to get out of this desperate position of an ordinary housewife. She does not understand her needs well and has no specific goal and steps towards its implementation. Only a dream keeps her next to Frank, a plan that her life would be so full and real after moving to Paris. 

Frank and April are two adults in a child’s position.

So, April has an idea to improve the family flow by moving to Paris, where her husband can realize himself and she can get a job in a good position.

She dreams of moving, and for some reason, she puts the solution to the problem on her husband’s shoulders, meaning: “I will work, and you think about life.» It turns out that she will wait for his decision, not from herself. Paradox. 

The spouses are unlucky again because the man here cannot make the final decision. Frank is tossing around. On the one hand, it’s very nice to feel free again, to do something he couldn’t even dream of. But on the other hand, is it worth it? 

These heroes’ feelings are described in detail, narrated, and captured by the camera. There remains no doubt about the veracity. Sam Mendes filmed a great and vivid picture!

Initially, the desire to move to a new place is very spontaneous and comes more from a child than an adult’s position. Revolutionary Road shows us children who have grown only externally. This picture is about how people who have not found themselves inside try to look for themselves in the outside world.

They are cheating out of despair.

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On April’s part, betrayal and abortion are more an act of desperation than revenge.

Frank’s cheating occurs as a way of self-affirmation and receiving pleasure, which he is not able to provide for himself on his own and in a relationship. It is not customary for this couple to sort out their feelings. They rely on how their partner will sort them out and decipher them.

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The danger of living in illusions.

The Wheeler family has everything they need to be happy, just like in the commercial. However, as is often the case, everything is not as it seems. They are both unhappy with their lives and consider themselves above everyday life.

Fantasies about their uniqueness do not allow them to face the reality of their relationship. The heroes do nothing special. They adapt to the typical image of the American family of the 50s, consoling themselves with the fact that they deserve more.

They don’t know who they are or what they want. But it is the basis of any relationship. They attempt to solve relationship problems through external changes alone. But life is bursting at the seams not because of the place in which they are but because of the unwillingness to remain with illusions.


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Final words.

The story of Frank and April is the tale of an ordinary married couple, albeit somewhat grotesque but not unique.

The moral of the film: the ability to express your feelings, give the right to choose, adapt to your partner, allow loved ones to realize themselves and see them as individuals – It is a precious skill that can maintain peace in your home.

I recommend this movie to those interested in the themes of relationships in a married couple, combining relationships and self-realization.

The ending is tragic.

The ending is natural.

I think Frank needs to see a therapist if there are any in the 1950s. 

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I`m in love with movies and psychology. Here I write how we can use movies for healing and self-growth. Also, be sure to check out my movie lists. You will find cool suggestions for movie night.

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I`m in love with movies and psychology. Here I write how we can use movies for healing and self-growth. Also, be sure to check out my movie lists. You will find cool suggestions for movie night.

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