Recently, I have been a little behind in my film reviewing and watching. For so many reasons I have been somewhat preoccupied. Tonight, I have watched a film that has brought me right back to my film loving roots and caused my writhing passion for cinema to resurface at its fullest. Rarely do I watch a film that moves me so deeply. Films that move me to this extent often stay with me and haunt me slightly. Certain subject matters and particular broken down characters cause me to sob in angst as the cinematic events unravel before me. Today’s screening has been of one of these films. It was my first time watching Kramer vs. Kramer.
The incredibly common and yet tragic scenarios that fill this film, along with the beautifully flawed characters, are why this film leaves such a lasting impression upon me. Other films that leave me with a similar chill include Blue Valentine and Mike Leigh’s Another Year. Seeing our protagonist yearn for things that were once taken for granted, suffer in silence and somehow cope in a world that’s collapsing around him makes Kramer vs Kramer so moving.
Meryl Streep’s performance is, as usual, engulfed in humanity and reality whilst your heart breaks watching the tears roll down the face of seven year old Billy; the child around whom the film’s subject revolves. However, without a doubt, it is Dustin Hoffman’s subtlety and minimalistic performance that makes this film so incredibly traumatising. His portray of a father and husband, whose world disintegrates in one evening, is incredibly memorable and, most of all, relate-able. You travel with this character as he overcomes numerous changes and obstacles. His character has so many layers that I only realise half way through the film that I cared a great deal about him and his outcome. A character whose first impression is inaccurate. A character you grow with and learn to love.
It is a film that is equally about loyalty and disloyalty; commitment and betrayal. A film that is swarming with harsh realisation about the human spirit and its everyday struggle.
Thanks for reading and let’s all keep supporting our beloved film industry.