Away We Go (2009): Yes, even breathing feels all right!

“Well I have been searching all of my days”

Let me start off by accepting that I am probably too young to fully appreciate this film and even if I were to somehow magically age 10 years overnight, I would still not be mature enough to relate to this movie in a manner that it deserves. But nonetheless, I am going to talk about it because in the September of 2015 when I watched this film for the first time, it helped me realize what I needed to do. For that is what a film does, it helps you find yourself vicariously, it answers the questions which you never knew you needed answered.

“Many a road, you know

I’ve been walking on

All of my days”

The movie revolves around a couple who is expecting their first child. Having realized that they need to look for a new place which would be perfect to start their family, they travel to Phoenix, Tucson, Montreal and Miami to meet with old friends and relatives in an effort to figure out which place they could call ‘Home’.

“And I’ve been trying to find

What’s been in my mind

As the days keep turning into night”

Burt: “I really want her to have an epic kind of childhood. I want her to run along streams and know how to work a canoe, be able to entertain herself outside. I want her childhood to be Huck Finn-y. You know?”

That is all the prime mover I needed to invest myself into this movie.

Somehow, I have never come across another person who has seen this movie and that is an utter shame for this is, in my opinion, the most beautifully told story that Sam Mendes has ever directed and he did helm American Beauty (1999) and my favorite Bond film of all time: Skyfall (2012).

Away we Go

How could anyone not love these characters?

And from what I have read online, people found the protagonists of this film to be “aloof” or even “smug”. I couldn’t disagree more vehemently. For starters, how can someone not love John Krasinski? It confounds me. That face and those eyes and that smile makes me connect with him no matter what and he is not playing some elite douche-bag who for all intents and purposes could be a sociopath as most of the other protagonists are; the irony being that we still love them, I believe we do so because we all want to be those larger than life characters who scale a building by the day and fight the Rock by the night to save that damsel in distress who goes on- just for feminism’s sake- to say that she needs no saving. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, escapism is as essential to the soul as a good Catharsis.

Yes, I do agree that we generally go to the movies to forget about our monotonous lives and the bleak reality but is it not the purpose of art to show us the mirror and teach us a little nobility? Why do we keep looking for one-dimensional characters with the perfect teeth and a don’t-give-a-f attitude?

Sam Mendes is an absolute genius and he understands the drive of the characters of his movie like no one else and it has always been evident but this film somehow changes the way he approaches these characters and unlike most of his other films, this one doesn’t have a bittersweet ending. And that works wonders for this film as it’s about a couple’s journey to figure out just what it is that they want to grow into.

Talking about ‘Away We Go’, Mendes said “All my films are linked by similar concerns, if you look below the surface. They’re all about one or more people who are lost and trying to find a way through. It’s no different with this one, it just happens that they do find a way through.”

‘Finding a way’, is that not what we are all looking for? Not matter who we are or what we are doing, we are all just as perplexed about what’s coming next and how to move beyond that.

“Well I have been quietly standing in the shade

All of my days

Watch the sky breaking on the promise that we made

All of this rain”

It being a pseudo-road-trip movie, there are quite a few shots of awe-inspiring scenery. It always amazes me how the car and the road or the river and the raft (Huck Finn, anyone?) or even a train can illustrate such a strong allegory for freedom.

On their way, they meet a few couples and they realize just how often things can go wrong. But they have not given up on love and perhaps they can still carve an island in time and call it their home where the outside world won’t be able to touch them.

“Well many a night I found myself with no friends standing near

All of my days

I cried aloud

I shook my hands

What am I doing here

All of these days”

While the film doesn’t have an original score, it does feature some great songs with ‘All my days’ by Alexi Murdoch being the one that I still find myself humming every so often. Oh and ‘Hey Mr. Tambourine Man’ always makes me appreciate folk-rock.

“For I look around me

And my eyes confound me

And it’s just too bright

As the days keep turning into night”

And then there’s Burt’s brother in Miami whose wife abandoned him out of the blue leaving him to care for his daughter all by himself. What if it happens to you? I don’t suppose anyone thinks love through, I guess it is but an instinct but then what do I know! So, what if you go crazy or realize that you have just been going through the motions? How will that affect a child? And what about the other person. You see humans are like dogs, you knock them around enough, they’ll think they did something to deserve it.

“Oh tell me, what is my life without your love
Tell me who am I without you by my side?”

When they get to the house of thier college friends, Verona exclaims “Holy Shit! We went to college with these guys. How can they be so grown up? While we are so…” and Burt fills in, “Stunted? Confused? Immature?”

“Come on, lets go be psychos together” – Sam, The Perks of being a wallflower

Perhaps they do live inside a bubble of their own devising and are unlike most of us but aren’t they just what we all like to think we could be had it not been for the *insert your own demons here…it could be that desk job of yours or the parents or some other made up problem*.

“Now I see clearly

It’s you I’m looking for

All of my days

Soon I’ll smile

I know I’ll feel this loneliness no more

All of my days

For I look around me

And it seems you’ve found me

And it’s coming into sight

As the days keep turning into night”

Verona:  What are we gonna do?
Burt: How do you mean?
Verona: No one’s in love like us, right? It’s so weird. What are we gonna do?
Burt: I think we just gotta ride it out.

A home can be a shed in the middle of nowhere or a RV coasting through the south of France or a raft on the Mississipi, all it takes is love.

“Now even breathing feels all right.”

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8 comments

  1. Amanda · April 4

    i came here due to pinterest and i kept reading on and on and i felt this connection. idk if you believe in such things or not, mediocrenick. btw, why so humble? ill get straight to it, r u single? idk. this is strange….u can see my email id, right? get in touch? i noticed you posted for the first time since 2015 recently i hope ure gonna be frequent and i wish u see this..idk how notifs work here…ill go ahead and comment on all ur posts now 😛

    Like

  2. Abhijeet · April 12

    I didn’t knew about this movie now I’m going to watch it. Thank you so much. Can you post a list of movies that you love? that will be great

    Like

    • mediocrenick · April 15

      I’d thought of that but I’m way too lazy to do it…drop me an email on the back-end of the website and I’ll send you a list 🙂

      Like

  3. Guess who · April 12

    I remember snap you posted saying now even breathing feels alright…feels so long ago..remember?

    Like

    • mediocrenick · April 15

      Yeah. 24th September 2015. Time, I have realized, is relative…so yeah, sometimes it feels like it was way too long ago and sometimes, if I close my eyes, it feels like last night!

      Like

  4. Amanda · April 15

    I thought you were going to be regular from now on…do you even read these comments?

    Like

  5. Cinephile me · April 15

    Bang on! The desk job is my demon…wish things could be different…great post, bro. Have you seen Adam?

    Like

    • mediocrenick · April 15

      Yeah, I watched Adam and 50/50 back to back on a slow Sunday evening…both of those movies are amazingly beautiful!

      Like

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