In the Revolutionary Road, there live Frank and April Wheeler, an idealistic young couple, who manage a dreaming start of their life after the post-war, America in the mid 1950s. They have bought a new house, considered themselves different from their dull, ‘unsophisticated’ neighbors, and have a couple of kids running in the yard. But, the idyllic principles vanish when April fails to be an actress with embarrassment and can’t well see her role as the housewife. And Frank thinks he has the most boring job in the world. They can’t afford to hold on the pressure of living as perfect as the plan, cause in fact they’re “just like everyone else.” The supposedly once harmonious couple now becomes quarrelsome. Days and days are passed through explicit sharp conversations directly meant to hurt each other and strike each other’s weaknesses.
However, they do start another dream by having a huge plan to move to France, where April hopes she can use her ability as a secretary and shorthand, and also Frank may ‘find’ himself again and gets some real job. But, the unwanted pregnancy ruins it all again. And now there is no compensation. Everything is beyond measure. The relationship has, thus, turned from distrust into hatred. Sam Mendes brilliantly elaborates the fight scenes with wincing dialogs, acts, and vivid descriptions. The condition makes us believe that the era they’re living in is really reluctant to peace and serenity. Or in the words of Joyce Carol Oates: “the sad, gray, deathly world.”
The characters are not at all flawless (but the acting is). They drink too much and smoke regularly. They are mostly sarcastic but show the fake sweet things before each other’s nose (except for John Givings, of course. And that is because he is insane. But, it seems to me that he’s the one who remains ‘sane’ in the story). Perhaps, Frank and April are not the lovable characters like Jack and Rose in Titanic, but they are utterly plausible. They may have been living around us. Although the narrator stresses on Frank, who actually loses ‘everything’ in the end, the movie somewhat puts the blame on April’s shoulder. And what left is irony.