The Virgin Suicides: A Must Watch

Meet the Spartans’ and ‘Kkrazzy 4’ being the only two theatrical releases this weekend, the movie buff within me cried for help. He had been subjected to yawn-fests like ‘Shutter’ and ‘The Eye’, starring the ravishing Jessica Alba. Even shecould not quench my thirst for a good film.

So, I dove into my DVD collection, to explore the unknown, to dive into the sea where I would most certainly pick only pearls, I surfaced with The Virgin Suicides. I wondered how long I had this film, vague recollections of quietly paying for it at a popular music store where dozens of my classmates gushed over the latest Mission Impossible Installment… brrrr that film still makes me retch!The Virgin Suicides was written and directed by Sofia Coppola (Francis Ford Copolla’s daughter, Francis Ford is the same man who made the hugely popular ‘The Godfather’ and the very disappointing ‘Apocalypse Now‘). This actor-director dove into the dark recess of the human mind to make this film. Inspired by the novel by Jeffrey Eugenides, the story takes us back a quarter of a century to the 1970s into Michigan, to whisper to us the story of five sisters and their unexplained suicides.

The story is told to us through the eyes of four boys trying to come to terms with the suicide of the girls’ across the street; they guide us, prompt us and innocently make us fall in love with each and every Lisbon sister. The blonde beauties are tied up within an overprotective family headed by their father, a mathematics teacher (James Woods) at their high school, who is simply obsessed about baseball and airplanes and a humorless mother (Kathleen Turner), who tries to guide the lives of their five incredibly dazzling daughters.

The five blond girls are Lux (Dunst), Cecilia (Hanna Hall), Bonnie (Chelse Swain), Mary (A.J. Cook) and Therese (Leslie Hayman) Lisbon. The family is to all appearances normal and regular, but as we go in closer, the skeletons tumble out when the film opens with Therese, the brooding youngest, trying to commit suicide by slitting her wrists but is saved in the nick of time. She is counseled by a psychiatrist (De Vito in a fantastic Cameo) who advices her parents that she needs around her some male company and urgent need of socializing. The parents’ chaperone a party in their basement which goes horribly wrong when Therese impales herself, which ushers in the gory aftermath.

The, family forced by their mother, rushes into social isolation and becomes a recluse, the girls remain unapproachable. A young stud Trip Fontane (Josh Hartnett in an electric role) fancies Lux and decides to ask the sisters out for the homecoming dance for a solitary evening.

A murky and dark time follow that dreaded night, which left me with an unmistakable void. The acting of the five sisters are unbelievable, especially Kirsten Dunst who plays the role of the promiscuous Lux perfectly. She had already established her self with Interview with the Vampire (winning her a Golden Globe nomination) putting herself into the league of serious actors. Dunst however went on to act in a bad cheerleader movie called Bring It On.

The rest of the four sisters somehow got lost in Hollywood, none becoming as big as Lux.
Sofia Coppolla however made two more wonders- Lost in Translation (Staring the lovely and very talented Scarlet Johansson) and Marie Antoinette (Staring Kirsten Dunst again). Both in my DVD library closely guarded and willing to open up next time a dry patch begins.

This walk down memory lane has been satisfying but unfortunately it killed my appetite for popcorn. I suggest a few tissues and a bottle of cold water when you watch this film.

Patanjali Pahwa

[image courtesy:]