Will there ever be progress?
I find the title â€œPersonal Velocityâ€? to be misleading. Indeed it is a line from the second story of the three, however it does not reflect the stories. I do not see any of the characters moving forward in the traditional manner. They seem to moving forward in a stretched slinky way, somewhat spiral like. Each woman moves forward but also backwards, although not back to the same spot. Each story is filled with its own pattern that a person from the audience can see why their lives are not getting better because the pattern does not change.
In the first story, Delia seems to relive the life of her mother. The mother left her husband because she was tired of being controlled by her husband. Delia stayed with her father because she felt sorry for him. To gain some sense of her own power, Delia finds control in sexual conquests. Delia finds herself in a violently abusive marriage and her marriage after hearing her pleading children. Also, she continues to find sexual conquest as her only sense of power.
In the second story, Greta is reliving her fatherâ€™s life. The father is an ambitious lawyer, which the daughter looks up to, and wishes to be. However when she finds out her father has been having an affair with a new person in the firm, which breaks up her family. Greta gives up the dream of being in law school and goes into editing cookbooks. She marries someone â€œsafeâ€? that gives her comfort but no excitement. However before marriage she is intimate with someone, and during her marriage, she is fondling an up and coming author. She leaves her husband as her life becomes more exciting.
In the third story, Paula just seems to see everything as a sign and that she just likes to run away from things. She is might be following one or another of her parents considering that the father is in Arizona which is a LONG way from New York (where the stories take place), or her mother who is living with a boyfriend, who Paula considers similar to her father.
I have wondered if part of the problem for these women is the loss of a strong female role model, i.e., their mothers. In each story, the mothers do not seem to be involved in any way with their daughters. Paula is the only one still in some contact with her mother although she visited her once in two years and still runs away from her mother.
As a side note, this movie makes some points that might have been used in â€œThirteen Conversations about One Thing.â€? Not all events may actually be a big mystery. People may just be following the scripts of their childhood or what they saw their parents do. Learned behavior may play a bigger role then non-psychologists may think.
The three separate stories are interestingly tied by a news story. I shall not spoil the entertainment more then I already have done.
Kyra Sedgwick as Delia, Parker Posey as Greta, and Fairuza Balk as Paula are all fantastic. They all brought the audience intimately into these womenâ€™s lives wonderfully.
The stories are tied by a male narrator, which I really have problems with. I feel that the male narrator gives a feeling that a male can understand better the females then the females themselves. I especially have problems with the men talking about the domestic violent story. There are so few violent females in heterosexual couples that I do not know if many men would truly understand how it is to love someone that is abusive to them. I suppose abuse does not really have to be violent to be destructive and perhaps men can be abused. Overall, I just would have felt better with a female narrator, if there even had to be a narrator. The voiceover could have been done by the women for their individual situations.
In conclusion, this is a wonderful look at the lives of three interesting women.
Full profile for Personal Velocity: Three Portraits
Offsite info: Internet Movie Database
Review: Birth of a taleswoman 8/10 mastadonfarm
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