While my children were away at my dad's for the weekend I took the opportunity to watch a few films and catch up with other things. One of the films I watched was W./E. which was directed by Madonna. I will admit it to you all that I am not a huge fan of Madonna-I don't dislike her-I guess I am just indifferent. But I knew I had to give this film a chance because it was going to be about the imfamous love story between Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII of England.
I must worn you I may give up some spoilers in this spotlight. I know I normally try not to but this time around I don't think I can help myself heheh You have been warned!
The Duke and Duchess of Windsor
At the very beginning of the film I was quickly confused and it took me a few moments to realize that scenes where going to be switched back and forth from the 1930's (mainly) to 1998. There are two stories happening at the same time basically, the story of Wally who was named after Wallis Simpson-who is incredibly lonely in her marriage and the story of Wallis who as we know was the twice divorced women who swept a King off his feet!
Once I got the grasp of what was going on I began to really feel for the character of Wally played beautifully by Abbie Cornish. She is this super lonely, incredibly attractive woman whose husband is too "busy" to spend time with her and is more interested in his work. She becomes suspicious of his fidelity which deepens her sadness and her loneliness even more.
I found the character of Wally appealing because she was in a state of being that many women can fall into. She left her job and doesn't have many friends or family so in many ways she is secluded from the world. She finds solace and joy in the love story of the Duke and Duchess. Their story is the only thing that makes her believe in "happily ever after", which by the end of film is tested and the truth is revealed to her. Does it make her keep believing in the power of love or does it forever damage her faith in it? That I won't tell you.
I can tell you that I totally related to her obsession with Wallis. I have never been obsessed with anything in particular but I can understand the joy of learning about the life of the person you admire. It's like that with those who are big fans of MM or Hayworth or Elvis. People who are big fans of someone else tend to connect with certain aspects of that person's life and that is what Wally did.
The Duke and Duchess of Windsor/Riseborough and D'Arcy in "W./E"
Andrea Riseborough plays Wallis and James D'Arcy plays Edward~both performed beautifully. I knew of the love story between them and his abdication of the throne but the little details about them I didn't know because I have yet to read a book about them which of course I really want to now. I love how Madonna intertwined actually events and the words written by both Wallis and Edward. It made the story so much more personal.
Cornish as Wally/Madonna with Riseborough and Cornish at a premiere of the film "W./E."
I must admit the middle of the beginning...like 35 minutes into the film...I felt it was dragging a bit but you need to stick with it. Many people only like the film because of all the pretty scenes from the 1930's but honestly this is a really well-written story. I enjoy films because of what they could possibly teach use or make us feel or inspire us. The pretty is great and your eyes will not be disappointed but the story especially the turns that it takes towards the end will make your heart burst.
While my heart was leaping for some of the other characters in the film, my heart was aching for Wallis. I didn't really know much of her side of the story and it was told so well by her own words. The King gave up a throne and in some ways his family and country but she gave up things as well. She was secluded from friends and family, from society, and in many ways she at times felt trapped. I mean they were both stuck in between a rock and a hard place because of the decisions they made. There was no going back for them and they both paid such a huge price.
My hope is that they were happy and comforted by one another's company. That at the end of their lives they both still loved one another and that they found peace in their decisions and in themselves.
So, was the love story between Wallis and Edward a happily ever after and does Wally ever find the love she so desperately believes she should have? I highly recommend this film-give it a chance and find out the answer! I am still thinking about this film and at the end I wanted to see more! Now that is the mark of a good story!!