Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story, starring power-house performers Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver, is a gut-wrenching and complicated tale of a sophisticated couple living in urban New York. Sources contemplate that Baumbach wove the plot behind Marriage story because he was partly inspired by his personal loss in the form of his own divorce with former beau Jennifer Jason Leigh. The lead antagonists – Golden Globe nominee, our very own Scar Jo who has managed to carve her own niche with her powerful screen presence, and quintessential actor and Academy Award nominee, Adam Driver, make the portrayal of these characters very gripping and relatable.
The grand but limited release
Although the film was announced in November 2017, it premiered only in 2019. On August 29, 2019, the film had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival. For reasons unknown, the famous director is going for a limited theatrical release on November 6, 2019. But the good news is that viewers will get to watch it on Netflix on December 6, 2019.
What makes Marriage story so relatable?
The realisation that Marriage story could be anyone’s story is one that hits home. We never know the turmoil lurking behind closed doors of a seemingly happy couple and the little things that could break them apart. In the movie, the duo plays the roles of Nicole – who is an established actress, and Charlie who is shown to be a budding playwright. The movie starts with the duo lounging in their newly-bought New York apartment and showcases a few heartfelt family moments between them and their curious and innocent eight-year-old son.
It then subtly transcends into providing us a glimpse of the growing distance between the two, because of differently aligned ambitions. Nicole wants to pursue her acting career in showbiz haven L.A while Charlie wants them to continue to reside in NY, where his playwright business is established. While the two become more oblivious to each other’s needs, the distance finally gnaws into their marriage and leads them to fall apart.
Have you watched the trailer yet?
If you haven’t watched the teaser/trailer of Marriage story yet, here is the link for you. The trailer itself packs an emotionally riveting punch, bringing to light the remnants of love shared between Nicole and Charlie, as they confess what quirks they love about each other, despite the ongoing divorce proceedings.
Critics appraisal and fans love
The movie has received a lot of critical acclaim as well. Critics believe that the movie encapsulates their journey right to the finish, starting on a sweet, somewhat romantic note, as most couples generally do in the start. The movie brings a lot of baggage to the table and brutally reveals the psychological turmoil and continuous chaos a divorcing couple goes through. Here’s what the IFC had to say about the movie –
Then begins the arduous legal battle of divorce and custody in stark courtrooms and sparring conversations. While Nicole is represented by high-powered attorney Nora (played by the ever-charming Laura Dern) who assists Nicole in empowering herself and placing forth her needs, Charlie is represented by a frumpy negotiator named Bert Spitz (played by reputed actor Alan Alda). While the lawyers battle their wits out in multiple interrogations and hearings, the couple is seen arguing in unnerving courtroom proceedings as well, thus bringing to light their suppressed emotions.
The movie successfully resonates with fans as well, bringing to light the paradoxical nature of life in general, especially when you are in a couple. Here’s a perfect summary of the movie by an enamored fan –
Their passive aggression aptly highlights the angst a withering couple go through and the gritting realities of unexpected differences and mutual separation. Still, amidst all the chaos, a silent bond of understanding forms between the two, evidenced when the couple speak up about what they love about each other and qualities they find endearing in the other. There is a certain element of humor underneath the dark moments and a shared and slightly comical embarrassment between the two as neither knows when and how to initiate conversations in each other’s presence post the initiation of the divorce proceedings.
The movie successfully highlights that breaking up is an incredibly lonely path even if there are others who support us, that sometimes there is no closure, and the complexities of individual wants and desires can remain unresolved. In the end, we cannot help but feel some empathy for these characters, even though we know that they are the ones who brought the entire thing upon themselves.