Educational Movie

The Hours Facing Real Life

The film begins with a scene from Woolf’s suicide in 1941. In her suicide note, Woolf writes: “Dearly beloved, I am certain that I will fall into madness again, that I will not survive another ordeal, and that this time I will not recover. I am beginning to hear ravings and cannot concentrate, so it seems best that I do so. You have given me the greatest happiness and you have done everything you can for me. I know I have ruined your life and you can sea without me, you will, I know it. I can’t even write a good letter, I just want to say that all the happiness in my life was given to me by you, you have been patient with me in every way, and you have been …… considerate to me beyond measure. I have long had nothing but the knowledge that you have been good to me. I can no longer drag you down in life. No one else can ever have such happiness as we did once”.

With this inner monologue, Woolf sinks into the river with the stone in his pocket.

I have to say that this beginning is very attractive, the genius of Woolf suicide this act, triggering the audience’s curiosity; suicide note in a blend of choice, love, facing life head-on …… such as the theme of the audience’s thoughts began to diverge, began to associate, it is easy to have a sense of substitution. The camera keeps switching around the three bit heroines as they begin their day. In the suburbs of London in 1941, Woolf begins to conceive the beginning of the novel; in Los Angeles in 1951, housewife Laura Brown begins to read the novel Mrs. Dalloway at home; in New York in 2001, Clarissa is about to go out to buy flowers. Although they were in different times, although they were both repressed and bound, they were both fighting, both seeking a more meaningful life. One day later Woolf chooses to commit suicide, Laura makes the decision to leave home after giving birth to her second child, Clarissa takes care of her ex-boyfriend (Laura’s son) for many years, a poet with AIDS, rich in talent and just won an award commits suicide on this day, and Clarissa later accepts the changes in her life openly and starts to live for herself.

I. A problem that cannot be escaped.

All three heroines are plagued by the vulgarity and hopeless boredom of everyday life, but for different reasons.

Nicole’s Woolf is obsessive, her eyes focused, wandering on the edge of her fictional life and the real life she is forced to accept. In her own novel Woolf is God and can decide whether the protagonists live or die, but in real life Woolf lives in a cage. Because of her own talent, sensitivity, and history of mental illness, the genius Woolf can not enjoy the warm sunshine, comfortable walks, parties, by her loving husband, relatives “closely guarded”, the overwhelming sense of separation between the two lives, so Woolf is on the verge of collapse.

Moore’s Lola’s eyes are vacant and her expression is stiff. Although the film does not explain the background, but Lola, who has a good & loving husband and a lovely son, is obviously living a quiet and stable life day after day, Lola’s husband’s birthday today. She does not enjoy being a wife and mother of this life, every day is filled with boring daily chores Lola can no longer escape, forced to face the truth of life, can not bear the lightness of life Lola sprouted the idea of suicide.

Richard: “Mrs. Dalloway always holds parties to fill her inner loneliness”. Richard confesses why he became a writer: “I just wanted to write everything. Everything in every moment, the flowers you walk in and hold in your hands, this towel, its smell, its touch, this thread. Everything we felt, mine and yours. Everything in the past, the old us, all the things in the world all in chaos …… just like now. But I failed, I failed. No matter how you try you can’t bring back the truth, only needless pride and utter stupidity. We want to have it all, don’t we”?

After recalling how happy they had been, Richard asked Clarissa, “Would you be angry if I died? I live only to satisfy you.” Clarissa replied, “That’s life, everyone is like that, they live for each other”.

Clarissa just described a common state of life. Clarissa is proactive and optimistic about life, does not accept Richard’s attitude and encourages him to go on with his life, Richard has to advise Clarissa to be brave in the future and face the reality without him: “I want you to decide about my life, don’t I? What about your own life? You’ll have to face your life when I die. And how will you escape when that happens.” At this point Clarissa begins to break down and is suddenly in a mid-life mental crisis. Richard is the spiritual pillar and focus of life for Clarissa, Richard, on the one hand, reassured by the years of care of Clarissa, on the other hand, see through this life of two people, which is not a state of his satisfaction. Desperate people leave the world unattached, but the wounded are the loved ones who care about him, and everyone faces the same problems as Clarissa. Clarissa did all the trivial things, kindly held a party for Richard but was sarcastic, not understood, and was overwhelmed with anger and sadness inside.

Inner Peace Woolf wanted to buy a ticket back to London quietly, Leonard found out and chased her to London, and they had an argument on the platform.

“My life was taken away from me by someone else, and I don’t live that life. If I thought about it clearly I would say that I was alone in the darkness, struggling alone, and only I would know, only I would understand what was happening to me. I have to face it, it is my right, even the most helpless and miserable patient has the right to decide his own life. I wish I were happy in this environment, but if the choice is to stay or to die, I choose death”.

Listening to Woolf say this in a calm tone, Leonard twitched helplessly, he could not refute Woolf and agreed to go home first and return to London the next day. On the way back Woolf added a sentence “escape from life will never get inner peace”, Woolf in the two lives, the day the sister’s visit intensified the conflict within Woolf, and sister in goodbye when she kissed her sister fiercely asked “do you think one day I can escape? “, she longed to be able to jump out of this “abnormal” life, like a normal person, comfortable, calm to live.

The night after Richard’s death, Clarissa meets Richard’s mother for the first time.

“I left my two children, abandoned them. It was the worst thing a mother could do. You’re a lucky woman to have a daughter. You want to end your own life when you feel you don’t belong in this world. “It would be better if I could say I regret it, but what does that mean? What does regret mean when you have no other choice? The point is how much you can live with. That’s it, no one will ever forgive me. When I face death, I choose to live”.

When Laura said these words, the extremely complex change of expression of Clarissa reflected the strong inner shock. Laura was not a good mother, and her actions were condemned by everyone, but she did not regret her choice because she could not stand that kind of life.

This passage from Laura contrasts with Woolf’s passage at the station, making the same choice for inner peace, facing her own nature. One chooses to die and one chooses to live, and this opposition of choices is only an opposition in the eyes of others.

This is what Woolf wrote to her husband Leonard at the end of the movie, and it is the core point that the movie wants to express, “the true and straightforward life”, the translation will lose the original rhythm, only to feel it and then be shocked.

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