Revolutionary Road

Revolutionary Road

From 2008, Sam Mendes’ Revolutionary Road is a standout. In the film, April (Kate Winslet) and Frank Wheeler (Leonardo DiCaprio) are a young, thriving couple living with their two children in a Connecticut suburb. They seem the model of 1950′s American success but their self-assured exterior masks a creeping frustration at their inability to feel fulfilled in their relationships or careers. Frank is mired in a well-paying but boring office job, and April is a housewife still mourning the demise of her hoped-for acting career. Determined to identify themselves as superior to the mediocre sprawl of suburbanites who surround them, they decide to move to France where they will be better able to develop their true artistic sensibilities. In this film fueled by powerful performances, confident directorial choices and beautiful cinematography there is a great reminder for the astute Dharma student. Although the good looks and great potential of our two protagonists may tempt us to think otherwise, it remains true that happiness comes from serving others. Similarly, as Khen Rinpoche (the teacher of Geshe Michael Roach) has famously said, “A dog wags its tail in Tibet just as it does in New Jersey”. If we take these two ideas together we see the message placed subtly in Revolutionary Road. There is nothing to do but serve others now, in the place that you are and happiness and satisfaction will follow.