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Kate (Charlotte Rampling) and Geoff Mercer (Sir Tom Courtenay) are planning to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary with dozens of friends. The event is to take place soon in the community hall of Norwich, the town near which they live. A week before the party, Geoff receives a letter which, although he tries to hide it, obviously troubles him. When his wife asks him what is going on, Geoff tells her that the body of Katya, his first great love who disappeared fifty years before in the Alps, has just been found in a melting glacier. From then on, Geoff starts behaving more and more strangely and for the first time after so many years Kate asks herself who the man she married so long ago really is.Written by
Russian censorship visa # 12102395 delivered on 30-11-2015. See more »
Geoff's friend says he's learning the ukulele (which is a small guitar) with the website Justin Guitar, as it's a good instrument for playing any music - not just George Formby. Although it was often said that Formby played the ukulele, his instrument was in fact a banjolele (a small banjo body with a fretted ukulele neck). See more »
45 Years is a almost a theatrical film, with not many characters and a slow-burning, subtle but powerful exploration of couple dynamics, the nature of love and trust, the weight of the past on the present, and who truly are those people with whom we share our lives. There is also a pointy finger to the social façade that many couples show to the world, which is not always as rosy or perfect when they are behind closed doors.
We get to know this apparently exemplary couple, Geoff and Kate Mercer, who have been married for 45 years and are approaching the celebration of their 45th wedding anniversary, content with their lives, caring, and loving. Until some news related to Geoff's past arrive and open a Pandora's box filled of smells of another woman, a love story that was more powerful that initially seems, and the ramifications that the story had on Geoff's marrying Kate. After the box in open, we get to see the real nature and strength of their relationship.
One of the main virtues of the film is, paradoxically, one of its most bugging disappointments: the ambiguity of feelings the viewer experiences about the unfolding events.
We get to know the past story, and some of the ramifications on the Swiss love story on Geoff & Kate's love story. However, we don't know why a story that happened so long ago, before the couple met, is hitting Kate so harshly. We get to live, in a way, the same doubts and mixed feelings she feels about the sincerity and integrity of her husband's love, feelings, and openness in their relationship: was she a rebound or was he really in love with her when they married? Why did he hide everything? Why is he's still hiding things and laying about everything? Why is he so distressed about a person he met 40+ years ago? Can she really trust him?
On the other hand, we don't really know what is behind Geoff's secrecy and moodiness either: Did Geoff hide his past to Kate on purpose? Did he just want to put the past behind and move on afresh with her? Is his current behavior the result of his inability to deal with his emotions? Or is it a reminder of what life was and would have been like with the other woman? Does he really love Kate? Did he love Kate when he married her?
These annoying doubts create a subtle emotional tension that bugs you inside, without any dramatic scene needed to be created. After all, things that destroy a relationship the most aren't always the fights or dramas, but the unsettling feelings of distrust, disrespect, lack of communication and lack of openness of those people with whom we share our lives. At the end of the film, I found that it was OK for us not to know anything for sure. The lack of knowledge produces an unsettling feeling in the viewer, and you get to say (or at least I did) you can never get to know anybody fully, no matter s/he is your partner, parent or offspring, there is always more to any person than meets the eye, and you should never ask people for their secrets as you might not be able to deal with their answer.
Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay are great in their respective roles, looking their age and playing being elderly with grace and verisimilitude.
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