Love is accepting a person as a whole, flaws and all.
The most important thing in a relationship (not that I am an expert) is to accept your partner as they are. Do not try to change them. But what happens when they decide to change? And I’m not talking about losing weight or being healthy. What happens when your husband wants to become your best girlfriend?
Based on a true story and on David Ebershoff’s book, The Danish girl (DVD) tells the tale of Einar Wegener (Eddie Redmayne) and his wife Gerda (Alicia Vikander). Both brilliant artists in the 1920’s, it seems that the only thing wrong in their relationship is the fact that Gerda’s portraits do not sell as well as Einar’s lanscape. Past this somewhat minor issue they are young, happy and madly in love. As time passes, Einar starts to realize his profound need to be a woman. Indeed, in the wrong body, he feels inadequate. How will Gerda react to the news? How will society respond? This groundbreaking journey from Einar to Lili Elbe as a transgender pioneer, will surely move you.
The Danish Girl has its flaws.
First of all, Eddie Redmayne gives a great performance, but the only issue is that it may go a bit too far into the stereotype. The rolling on the ankles, the shy smiles and the furtive looks are a bit too much. Women are more complex. On the contrary, I would gladly give an Oscar to Alicia Vikander. She is beyond incredible in this movie. I couldn’t help but identify with her character’s struggle and I believe many other women will too. Her love is so intense. She doesn’t have a choice in what is happening and yet, she stays.
Secondly, the movie is here to capture the struggle of self realization but I got the feeling that the struggle was far more intense for Gerda. The focus is on the relationship between the artists as much as on his wife and less on Lili/Einar and his historic transformation. I felt that The Danish Girl failed to grasp the complexity of the issues tackled.
Finally, I have a hard time believing that being different was as ‘easy’ as portrayed in the movie. Most people seemed open-minded. Was it really like this? Are the history lessons given to me as a child a lie?
All in all it is still a beautiful heartbreaking story of love. Yes, it does need a bit of tweaking but it manages to show a love that goes beyond anything you can imagine and it is nice.
Ultimately the story is not just disturbing, it is fascinating.