Big Eyes – Tim Burton (2014)

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Synopsis: Keane, the mass-manufactured cartoonish imagery of big-eyed orphans,  as a 60’s story, with a doomed love angle.  Keane, the husband, was taking credit for his wife’s work, and this is their story.

There are so many faults not worth recounting in this story, but the main one is the dramaturgy. We are not allowed the intimacy of feeling necessary to remotely empathize with the characters.  In what moments of suspended reality did she ever find the strength to remain in this highly unfavorable situation? How did she suddenly detach herself emotionally from her daughter and expect her to endure her estrangement for a long number of years? The sudden appearance of Christopher Waltz, who is naturally repugnant in this role, as master manipulator, is not convincing. His technique consists in holding her in frantic agitation and kissing her violently, as declaration of love. Who falls for that?

Apparently Ms. Keane fell for it, and after her divorce became a Jehova’s Witness. The sudden turn to religion could explain the omission of crucial relationship details in the story. Could she be trying to expiate untold sins? Something kept the Keanes together that could be too shocking to divulge.

In a brief moment of complete self-unconsciousness, Ms. Keane tells an art dealer of her interest in Simple English Gematria: the relationship between letters and numbers. Every letter is a number, and every word has a numerical value. If this value matches other words, it tells of a recurring pattern in the universe. Could this be the missing piece of the puzzle? The reason why she endured what others would find insufferable for so long? Her innocent faith in the complex forces of the universe.

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Categories: female leads, Notes

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