Tulip Fever – Subtle yet fierce

Another one of those movies that make you never rely on critics’ reviews. Tulip Fever is a movie based in the seventeenth century whose storyline very well resonates in the 21st. A critic went as far as calling the movie tone-deaf; and I must either be a viewer uncomprehending of movie standards, or the review was biased.

Tulip Fever sure has its low points but for a viewer seeking a story of lasting impression combined with elements like passion or stream of conscience, it’s a must-watch. It speaks of a young girl married off without her will to a wealthy man who sought an heir, which she couldn’t give him for a long time. An accidental affair follows, and the turn of events henceforth is no short of dramatic.

As far as my little knowledge in movie making goes, I believe the hardest part for a maker is portraying emotion, the flow of thoughts in the mind of a character and thoughts of people before an unexpected scenario. There’s no technology or a rulebook that you can use to enhance human emotion and depict it in the exact way the writer intended it, or how you want the viewer to perceive it. And for a personal opinion, I believe Tulip Fever nails that part.

A wife of a wealthy businessman from the 17th century Amsterdam falling in love with a rather rugged painter has to involve a lot of passion between the two. A wealthy businessman who married a woman half his age for an heir would naturally be assumed to be a brat, but he’s not. A maid of the family gets pregnant with a lover whom she didn’t cheat on, but he thought it – another rather complicated plot within the story. And towards the end, the desperation of love and infatuation pushes the lead character to take drastic steps to be with her lover – which is again a mad turn of events that definitely hits the right chords of the mind. All the mentioned emotions came out perfectly as it must have – which is why Tulip Fever is, from my vantage point of medium movie knowledge – an exceptional movie. The characters are all wrong, but no one’s wrong. It is one fierce cognitive dissonance to portray, and Tulip Fever sure has played it exceptionally well.

It’s neither a mad rush to the end, nor a slow romantic melodrama. It has its moments that you will want to re-watch, merely for the right amount of passion display. I cannot promise everyone would feel the same way, however. But for anyone who enjoys subtle psychological themes in movies, Tulip Fever will definitely be a memorable one.

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