Tuesday, 19 January 2016

The Danish Girl: An extraordinary story of two extraordinarily beautiful women

Let's start with The Danish Girl's intriguing trailer which I happened to share a couple of months back right here. Trailer

That slight touch of the frilly frock and silken stockings changed everything: it made Einar, Lilli Elbe.

A still from the movie. Photo Courtesy: Internet

Eddie Redmayne is back this year (in India, that is, otherwise the movie saw a November 27 in the US) as Lilli aka Einar Wegener in the Danish girl after stunning each of us with his incredible portrayal of Stephen hawking in the theory of everything.

One fine day, Gerda asks her husband to fill in for a life model; she was making a portrait of. The ever supportive and loving husband readily agrees and laughingly pulls on a pair of silken stockings and ballet shoes. Einar is teasingly named Lilli while he enjoys all the attention. Together with his partner in crime, Gerda, he cooks up a plan to attend a society ball with Einar dressed as Lilli and introducing himself to the world as Einar’s cousin.

Lilli caresses herself as she admires herself in the mirror. Photo Courtesy: Internet
Gerda decides to paint Lilli and Einar continues to pitch in. Lilli’s portraits are a huge success in the market and they make good money out of it. Life enters a dark phase at a point when Einar just cannot resist being dressed as Lilli. A couple of relationships here and there, Lilli is still trying to find her way into the world. Soon, Einar is lost completely somewhere.
Redmayne is slaying it yet again. An Oscar nomination has already arrived. Very honest in his portrayal of the character, Eddie, it seems was walking on a tight rope and balances just fine.

Not only Redmayne’s but Alicia Vikander's performance in Tom Hooper’s film will draw you into their lives from where you can closely witness their emotional turmoil, both individually and together. Alicia as Einar’s wife, Gerda is the surprise element in the movie, finely showcasing what a woman goes through when her  husband has just discovered that he is a woman from inside. “Can I have my husband back? I want to talk to him”, she pleads. Lilli responds, “I’m sorry”.

Alicia Vikander in The Danish Girl. Photo Courtesy: Internet
Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl. Photo Courtesy: Internet

Dated back to 1926, the story chronicles the life of Lilli Elbe, one of the first people to undergo sex reassignment surgery. At its core, the story is a beautifully crafted transformative saga of two extraordinary souls, and the profound love that they share. "Leave it. Let her fly", says Gerda as Lilli's scarf floats away in the breeze. These closing lines of the film says it all.

Your heart goes out for Einar while he is being thrashed by local eve teasers on the roadside for being gay. There comes a conscious giggle from a corner of the theatre hall. Things haven’t changed since Einar’s time. Sigh.

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