Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, Luke Kirby, Sarah Silverman, Aaron Abrams, Raoul Bhaneja, Albert Howell, Diane Flacks and Diane D'Aquila.
Take this Waltz is the second feature film from Sarah Polley after her highly praised and awards winning Away From Her. This is the story of a 28 years old Margot (Williams) who is a freelance writer and is married to Lou (Rogen) who himself is a cookbook writer trying different chicken recipes in his home all day. They have been married for about 5 years and love each other very much. Movie begins with a scared and very frightened Margot on wheelchair as she changes flights, this is her neurotic fear, of airports and planes. She is afraid of making new ties with people even though the she wants to because for her its necessary. This movie shows the gap that exists between her and the rest of the world and how she tries to fill it. She has been traveling for a writing assignment by a travel agency and on the plane, she meets a handsome looking Daniel (Kirby) in a very awkward conversation she tells him things that you wont normally expect yourself sharing with strangers. But the thing is that he wasn't meant to be one, you can see that instant spark between them. They share a cab together and it turns out that Daniel is actually her neighbor and lives just across the street. He is an artist but what he actually do is run a rickshaw. She does inform him about the fact that she is married, they continue meeting in very usual ways. Coming back to Lou, Margot loves him and he loves her so much. They play these word games, some really private and personal conversations that you would expect a couple doing while alone in the comfort of their beautiful home at night. This is what i love about Polley's direction and how much organic and earthy it is, no compromises whatsoever.
Margot continues being a good wife that she is for Lou and meet Daniel at the same time. Slowly we sense the gap between both Lou and Margot seems to be getting more wider and wider. There are some superbly great moments in this movie, one that i truly loved was the scene involving an amusement park ride. Margot and Daniel enjoys this ride, dark setting, flashy lights all set to a popular pop song "Video Killed the Radio Star". The way that scene is picturised is nothing short of a stunning work, the camera angles, slow motion, the zoom-ins and focus. We see them both from people's point of view and from their own. They both are enjoying the ride, screaming and cheering leaving the world that they live behind them. Margot specially because this is the life that she wants to live, carefree and happy. The whole scene is then quickly cut, lights come back and music is stopped and we see both of them with completely changed expressions, they realized that it was all just a fantasy and now they have to go back to the life that they do live. One thing about Margot is that she honestly cares for Lou and doesn't wants to hurt him by cheating on him while she is hopelessly drawn towards Daniel who comes in her life like a fantasy that everyone wants to live. The fact that she does get a chance to live that is something quite amazing. In another memorable moment we see Margot and Daniel in their dream house, the life that they both wanted to live. They both are shown making love in different ways, different positions, with different intensity. The camera moves in a continuous circular motion as their life is shown passing by (in months i think) and we see their attraction seems to be fading. That moment becomes even more intense thanks to the title song "Take this Waltz". The fact that a boy and then a girl joins them shows how much quickly their physical attraction faded that they need someone else to join what should have been a more personal moment.
It all comes down to the fact that the story is about a woman who is constantly looking for something to fill that void with. She is married to a pretty decent guy a woman can hope for, he doesn't beat her or is alcoholic, never irritating or anything but quite the man. Is she self-destructive or really silly? Does the very though of happiness drives her crazy or is it the sadness in life that she doesn't want to experience? Michelle Williams gives one of her career best performance in a role that is best suited for her, she needed this kind of a character because she looks good in these type of roles. Perfectly expressive, emotive and beautiful performance. She does exactly what the director wants her to and completely gets involved with her character Margot. Seth Rogen surprisingly in his most serious role is very nice and i will love to see him in such roles later on in his career. However Luke Kirby is someone i wasn't impressed from, in fact he doesn't really act that well. Sarah Silverman as Geraldine is quite a surprise, the alcoholic and downright larger than life role that she has is best suited for her. Take this Waltz in its quite raw and realistic depiction of human being, human relations, love, marriage and separation presents us a very effective and though provoking movie even though it looks quite artsy in places. Does this movie tells us that love is not something you fall into but you choose it for yourself? Does that come from the fact that you have to love yourself first then to fall in love with someone else? Or is love just a fantasy that you fall in for sometime and then realize its all just a fluke? Take this Waltz begins and ends on the same scene, we aren't aware of the fact until that scene is shown again towards the end, its all a flashback.
Margot is shown baking for someone and that person turns out to be Daniel. The scene is quite vivid and we see the back of the man she is cooking for. Its funny how you don't really focus until you reach a point in the movie so what happens in the start is something that just passes by without you giving it a serious thought. If i would have noticed that the man with his back is very skinny, i would have known that she happens to be cooking for her new found love Daniel, the man she meets at the airport then for Lou, her husband. But where the movie really ends is on the same ride, but this time Margot is all alone, without Daniel or Lou but with herself only. Did she finally found how to love herself? Is it just a fantasy of hers, her dream? Is she all alone now without any man in her life? Its a very ambiguous ending that leaves you thinking and its something you as a viewer decide for yourself. Take this Waltz is one hell of a beautiful movie, visually too. The cinematography is perfect, Canada have never been shown this much beautiful. The lush green and leafy streets, the sun, the sea, the candy colored atmosphere adds to the nuance, the playful child like giddiness that Margot shows. Direction is quite good but the screenplay could have been a bit more compact. Overall i am quite impressed by this movie, the first one from this year that i actually fell in love with. This movie is something that hit me right in the heart, struck me right in my head and took me to a place where no recent movie have done which made up for quite an extraordinary experience. The too indie/experimental and arty treatment of this movie will put off a lot of viewers but to me, all that doesn't matter. What matter is how wonderfully a filmmaker delivers what he/she thinks and no matter how fanatical or arty or vivid the whole idea is, if deliver perfectly than that is what it counts.
Take this Waltz is an indie romantic drama that shows the most deepest, personal, selfish and playful nature of human beings. Michelle Williams outshines in a movie that proves once again how great Sarah Polley is as a filmmaker and how much one should look forward to her upcoming projects. A must watch and a personal favorite.