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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Bridges of Madison County

Most people have seen Clint Eastwood in his movies as a classic western fighter or the famous Dirty Harry character, then you would be surprised to see this movie. The Bridges of Madison County is a sentimental movie, released in 1995 (and produced and directed by Clint Eastwood as well) - essentially being a movie all about emotions, yearning, and sacrifice. It presented a new side of Clint Eastwood, and when combined with the Oscar Nominated performance by Meryl Streep (her 10th Oscar Nomination), became a phenomenal success. The movie cost approximately $22 million dollars to make, and cleaned up more than $180 million worldwide.

The Bridges of Madison County (1995)

Given that the movie is sentimental (some would say mushy), there are wide ranging reactions to the movie - some people can't stand the movie (and by association, the novel on which it is based), while for others, it is a good movie that shows a wide range of human emotions; especially how life changes for 2 people who meet and click together even in unfavorable circumstances. The movie was based on the (best-selling) novel of the same name by Robert James Waller.
The movie starts out with the children of Francesca (Meryl Streep), looking through their deceased mother's things when they discover a diary. Lo and behold, it reveals a secret that the family did not know till then; in the summer of 1965, their mother had a secret 4 day affair with a photographer for National Geographic (Robert Kincaid played by Clint Eastwood). Her family has gone to a fair along with their steer and will be there for a few days, leaving her alone at home.
Francesca is an Italian-American lady who came to the US in 1945 along with her American soldier husband; she is reconciled with her status, but there is a yearning that has not yet died down even after 20 years of marriage (she feels stifled in her marriage). So, when a photographer turns up lost at her door and they are not able to easily find the place (wandering around), they quickly fall for each in a very deep relationship. However, when it is time for her family to come back, she has to take a decision - go with her heart or with her responsibilities ?

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