Topic 2 The Hours 2002 film


The writer put so much effort and love into the characters portrayed. With much emotion and drama throughout the film, it was hard to take my eyes off the screen. Depression and the feeling of loneliness was explored in the film. In addition, the exploration uncovers the effects their emotions have on those around them. The writer did a wonderful job exploiting the characters to tell the stories.

You begin with an emotionally unstable woman by the name Virginia Woolf. She is obviously depressed and her writing shows that. Virginia’s emotion throughout the movie was melancholy. Her writing was seemingly the only outward expression she had to show. She was my second favorite character after Clarissa. A quote that caught my attention the most is from Virginia Woolf “You cannot find peace by avoiding life.” Which is exactly the impression I had of her, avoiding living her own life outward. Instead, it seems she chose to live through writing.

The most gripping, emotional moment for me came when the character Laura, dropped her child Richard off to be watched. She was presumably going to get her hair cut. Richard however, was obviously distraught and knew exactly what his mother was planning to do. Check into a hotel to end her life, finally. Hence, his outburst when being dropped off. When Laura returned there was a look of surprise on Richard’s face. When he was riding in the car he took a moment to say “I love you” to his Mother. She seemed surprised and at that moment I believe she understood that Richard knew what she’d attempted.

Codependency was also explored most notably with the character Clarissa. She was grasping at any chance to make sure she was to take care of her ex husband Richard who was dying. (He is the adult son captured later in life of Laura.) Richard later jumped out of a window to end his life. It suggests that he was carrying the same mental illness his mother Laura had. (Depression) In the end Richard was only doing what he felt was his only choice, freeing himself of the imprisonment of just existing waiting to die.

After watching the film it enlightened my thinking of how far we have come as a society in the acceptance of mental illness. As well, it demonstrates how far society has come with accepting human sexuality. (Still with much needed improvement with both mental illness and sexuality.) In the sequential story-line explored you find the first character Virginia (the writer) unable to show her love for her female friend out of fear. The second character Laura was as well in love with her friend that came to visit before leaving for her surgery. Finally the modern day character Clarissa, she is openly living with her female partner.

It appears the writer of the film also meant for the feeling of abandonment to be felt by the viewer. All of the sudden at the end of the movie Laura (Richards mother) appears after being told the news of Richard’s death. (Leaving me wondering what happened to Laura since?) There was no lead up to that moment since the gap in time was so great.

Were all the main characters portrayed the “voices” in Virginia’s head? I’ll be looking forward to reading more of the real Virginia Woolf works thanks to this film.


One comment

  1. Oh, Justin. When I was working on my M.A., one of my professors was a Woolf scholar, and she did a lot of work involving Woolf’s life. She’s fascinating. I’m glad you enjoyed this film.

    Moments of Awesomeness — The quote and the description of the scene with Richard and his mom are big wins here. It usually takes a couple of nudges from me before students start including specifics in their writing, but you jumped right in with them here, and this post shows why they’re so important. When you nail down an idea to a specific example, we’re better able to see what you’re thinking, and you’re able to use it to make a point. KEEP DOING THIS. Even if you write about personal material, remember specifics nearly always make writing stronger.

    Next time — Now that I’ve seen you get intrigued about these characters (and your attention to how character-driven this film is), I’m excited to see some of YOUR characters. If you’re up for a challenge, check out those “Your Imagination” prompts and see if any strike your fancy.

    Liked by 1 person

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