Blanchett, Mara make “Carol” 2015’s most powerful romance

Phot taken from Flickr Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in "Carol"
Photo taken from Flickr
Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in “Carol”

Devin King | Reporter
Friday, Dec. 25; 11 a.m.

Based on the 1952 novel “The Price of Salt,” “Carol” tells the story of the relationship between Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett), a soon-to-be divorced housewife, and her young, female love interest Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara). Set in the backdrop of Manhattan in the early 1950s, the story depicts the problems of what a lesbian relationship may have encountered during this time.

Carol and Therese are both separated by their age gap and their respective social situations, but the potent narrative does an excellent job developing their very relatable romance. Blanchett and Mara both deserve credit for this since their chemistry made the main focus of the plot work so well. Watching the two women’s forbidden love made me feel like a kid enjoying a delicious cookie he stole from the cookie jar.

Mara plays the perfect innocent young woman and Blanchett is great as the experienced housewife. But they do even better together when they play off their differences in character. None of the acting is too over-the-top and hits the right subtlety for each scene.

The cinematography brings 1950’s Manhattan to life and the sound design is also impressive during the scenes set in the city. However, the most impressive part about the film’s aesthetic is how it adds to the narration, specifically how subtle uses of color in the visuals add some powerful symbolism. This was an excellent decision made since it takes advantage of the medium of film, rather than just being a straightforward adaptation.

“Carol” eloquently captures the human perception of love in an era in which the type of love was forbidden. Few films go above and beyond what they set out to do, and because of that, “Carol” is one of the strongest films of the year.

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