Movie : Along came Wanda
Director : Jan Miller Corran
” I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart)I am never without it (anywhere
I go you go,my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing,my darling)
I fear no fate (for you are my fate,my sweet)I want no world (for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you…” ~E.E Cummings
The title of the movie indicates a certain kind of arrival. An arrival of a person, an arrival of a feeling, an arrival of a thought or the eventual arrival of oneself. The sense of arrival is potently evident in the entire narrative. There is also a dominant presence of the individual , in this case, Mary Beth. One must discover oneself in the process of understanding the world or one must understand the world in the process of discovering oneself. This is a story of discovery.
The story gyrates around a woman (Mary Beth) who in order to escape a drab, lackluster life goes on a journey with a friend. The journey here however is like the journey of life. There are moments of laughter and forgetting. There are moments of vision and blindness. There are moments of reason and ofcourse of delirium. In the journey she meets a number of individuals, some quite normal and others a little eccentric who offer her a number of perspectives. These perspectives help Wanda recognise someone who was within her all this while yet went unnoticed. The process of recognition ends with a tender kiss, full of passion and relief.
We find a plethora of characters in the movie. They are quite different from one another. The director must be praised for exploring the various stratas of our society and locating the aberrations within the popular narratives. The characters of Mary Beth and Wanda act as foils to each other. There is order and suppression in Mary Beth while there is chaos and rebellion in Wanda. The characters beautifully enhance the development of the narrative.
The performances deserve a lot of praise. All the performances appeared convincing. The actors playing the roles of Wanda and Mary Beth deserve a mention as they were impeccable in their performances respectively.
The entire film is well shot. There is a sense of serenity in the scenes. The trip ensures the presence of natural shots in the entire movie. The presence of space in the entire film might suggest a sense of liberation, a sense of discovery, the vehicle being the harbinger of change , of Mary Beth discovering herself, of two souls falling in love.
The background score injects a sense of tranquility in the psyche of the viewers. The background music perfectly sets the mood in the film. It intensifies the balance between a longing for home and the urge to disappear.
The themes of love, discovery and wanderlust are dexterously explored in the film. We are shown a story of love in which one discovers herself in the process of travelling through the roads of freedom. The discovery is far from facile and Mary Beth faces a number of impediments outside and within herself. She must fight these obstacles as love for her is not like a trivial walk in the park, it is instead an ocean of fire and one must walk this road if one were to discover her true self, her otherwise suppressed desires.
The direction appears flawless. One could instantly fall in love with Wanda. The characters are well written , their arcs clearly defined and a certain amount of clarity can be found in the entire narrative. The dialogues are intense, funny or both at times. There is the perfect balance between levity and seriousness in the movie. There is also a perfectly drawn balance between the indoor and the outdoor locations, almost an indication of the individual dilemmas faced by one when she must confront her inner self.
The message is loud and clear. Love has no one true definition. It doesn’t care if one’s young or old, it is seldom bothered by the characteristics of an individual. It is a matter of the heart and we all have that one moment in our lives when a certain Wanda walks into our life and we must choose if we prefer the cage like always or if we for once want to fly.
We are like Mary Beth dreaming and then lamenting about how we shall always desire a certain Wanda and never even have that one chance of facing her. The question that we must ask ourselves is that : Do we have the courage to face our respective Wandas’? The movie tells us a story of love and we end up discovering a lot about ourselves like Mary Beth. That’s exactly where a movie succeeds, when it becomes a part of our life, when we become one of the characters in the movie.