What happens when one try to immolate the perfect life? It literally blows up in your face.
Swede (Ewan McGregor) and Dawn (Jennifer Connolly) Levov were perceived to be the perfect couple, with the perfect life and the perfect child. However, when a fire breaks out at the local post office, their perfect life turns upside down.
Television is a very polarizing and influential force in American culture and it was this force and the images it projected that resulted in Merry Levov (Dakota Fanning) becoming not so perfect.
It was her strong, undying desire for change and equality that forced her to do the unthinkable. Kinda like a modern-day Patty Hearst.
Your heart breaks for her parents. The father trying to hold on and love his little girl, who he almost doesn’t recognize in looks or spirit. The mother racked with guilt that her image as a former beauty queen may have been too high and hard an image for Merry to look up to or emulate. It kinda reminds me what a challenge it must have been for iconic sexy recording star Cher to have Chastity identify more with being masculine than the femininity so highly associated with his superstar Mom. Or how the late Jon Benet must have felt even at a young age, trying to be the perfect beauty queen her Mom had been.
American Pastoral is a very disturbing film. Mostly because it hits the nail on the head of a 60’s America, very much like today, that couldn’t quite get a grasp on the reality of life and its surroundings. It’s these types of films that make you think , grow and hopefully change.
American Pastoral was released by Lionsgate this fall and can be streamed online via Netflix, Amazon and more.