Monday, June 02, 2008

The Way We Were

The Way We Were is pretty much unique in the world of movies. Two big equally strong stars together in a story that's romantic, a psychological study of two clashing personalities, and a serious look at the Red scare and McCarthy hearings of the 1950s.

It also has a character who seems to be based on Dalton Trumbo, which is pretty cool.

Robert Redford, whom I admire more the more I learn about him, apparently deserves much of the credit for the strength of the story. It was originally a vehicle for Streisand and as happens all too often with her films, the focus was far too much on her character. I've read that Redford was adamant about not doing the movie unless his character was more than just an object of desire.

The driving force of the movie is the Redford and Streisand characters trying to stay together in spite of their differences - she's intense, he's easy-going, he feels she pushes him too hard, as he explains in this scene.

He's also apolitical and so are his friends, which makes things difficult for Katie, Streisand's character. But his lack of strong political convictions makes it easier for him to analyze the situation dispassionately and pretty astutely too.

As so often happens when two very different personalities get together, the results are interesting - and if sexual, very hot.

Although really, any love scene with the young Robert Redford is, by definition, hot.