Last week I watched Carol. I had heard good things so thought it would be worth a watch and sat with my noodles at lunchtime ready to experience something. As the credits rolled, I was engrossed in twirling my noodles around my fork, rather indifferent to the largely typed words rhythmically appearing and disappearing on the screen. However, ten minutes later, my indifference had run away completely.
What ensued was a powerful 120 minutes of block colours, trapped feelings and restrain so deeply associated with the fifties. The portrayed fifties New York was so glamorous and authentic that I wished (and still do) that I was around to see and feel it. Something about fifties America has always charmed me, but I did not think it possible for a single film to ever do so. I was so moved that I spent the entirety of the film on the edge of tears and could not stop thinking about it for the rest of the day.
For me, the era speaks romance, more so than anything else ever could. As a major romantic, Carol encapsulated all that consumes my ideas about the period. Every whispered and delicately pronounced word, every conversation masking a real feeling, every gentle graze of fingertips on a shoulder, every stolen glance and every phone call is what I consider to be romance. Everything is heightened, with emotions mounting slowly as the relationship progresses. Romance is in the slow way that the relationship gains ground, steadily seducing the people involved. It seems almost suffocating and at times, unbearable in its intensity, leaving the characters and myself gasping for air when all was concluded. It felt so raw and palpable, leaving me wanting to experience a fifties love of my own. But maybe my fifties love was my own feeling of seduction from every word uttered.
I watched it again the next day.
My heart pounded and and my stomach dropped as I cracked the spine and turned to the first page of the book.