I Love a Married Man.
I would give it a five star rating.
Yes, it’s a beautiful movie that I watched while flying back from Moscow to New Delhi on Aeroflot airline.
For a very long time now.. I have been an ardent fan of Russian cinema and Russian literature. In literature it has been Leo Tolstoy and Nabakov and yes, Anton Chekov who have been my all time favourites and in cinema, my likes are ruled by movies like Father and Son, Railway Station for Two and now by ‘I Love a Married Man’.
Precisely speaking, as the title reveals, the movie revolves around a woman (Larissa) who is madly in love with a married man. The tight and unconventional script of the movie and the apt direction make this movie different from other such flicks that have tried to explore the subject. The art beautifully captures the trauma and tension of the married man, the helplessness of the bullying, dominating wife who tries to get her husband back by hook or crook and also throws light on how a teenage daughter feels about her parents who are continuously on a rift. But finally, it is the connection and conversations of the daughter and the woman that capture the essence of the movie.
For the first time, I have watched a piece of art that depicts liberation in the end. The married man is liberated of his wife, the daughter decides to pursue painting despite her mother’s coercion for quitting it, the wife is free of ‘good-for-nothing’ husband and daughter and the woman leaves her country forever to be liberated of the guilt of stealing someone else’s happiness and husband.
Married man – a difficult entity in all sense. And love – an easy thing of all. And the two often go together with no results, more often than not.
This subject always leaves me pondering for few answers. Why does a person look out of his marriage? Why do married men seem so desirable? Why does a person fall in love with an already married person?
The answer to the last question is the simplest of all – love knows no barriers. Falling in love is not one’s conscious decision. It just happens. We can not control our feelings for somebody but what we can control is the urge to pursue it.
My best friend once fell madly in love with a married man. And I only know how desperate and helpless she felt for those tremulous two years of her life! It all began, as usual, with friendship only to be turned into passionate love that finally took the shape of an ego battle. My simple, sweet, ever loving friend became a woman who started feeling victorious over his wife each time that married man spent few moments with her. And I know this (de)progress of events is common for all, let alone my friend.
Sadly, the entire burden of intruding a home mostly comes on the broad shoulders of the single woman. While it is the married man who strays and doesn’t keep up the marriage vows. Still, many single, successful women fall for married men as they find them quite exciting, experienced and adventurous. It is the feeling of winning over someone else that keeps the excitement going, the feeling of doing ‘not-to-be-done’ that keeps the adventure reeling. The desire stems from his stability. The fact that he is married to someone else who won’t leave him proves he is desired, atleast by one more woman! Anyone would wonder if these single women have ever dreamt of a ‘future’ with their married men and the answer is YES. In most of the cases, the married man provides some hope for a future though subtly he gives reasons for not letting his marriage go away. The reasons can be a child, cost of separation or alimony, social reasons or family pressure. And the women who have had an affair with married men would agree with me that at the beginning, all of these men made their marriage sound like a baggage to be dragged. But as time passes, the woman wants all of him more and more and slowly the reality creeps in. The married man realizes he can’t leave his wife and children and the woman learns she can’t go on like this and then it ends just at the place it all began.
Marriage counsellor Gary Neuman says in most of the cases wife doesn’t know about her husband’s affair and a study conducted by him claims 92% of the men cheating on their wives said it wasn’t primarily because of sex. The majority of them agreed it was an emotional disconnection. Men disconnect on one end and start connecting with other woman on the other end.
Though the conventional thinkers say the ‘other’ woman here is the biggest loser but I feel this is a game everyone loses. Wife loses the trust, the dreams of a happily-ever-after married life and the marriage in itself loses everything except the name. The married man is resilient, spineless. He is the driver of the whole thing and knows what he wants. And the single woman – she moves on fast with her life but only with time and regrets.
After a span of time, every woman who has had an affair with a married man regrets it hard. They confess that the affair made them feel pathetic, powerless, helpless and deprived of dignity. Ask any woman who dated a married man and she would say she wish to delete the time spent with him and wish to have spent it on herself or with someone who could be truly hers.
An affair with a married man is a game that is umpired by the wedded man himself. He is the one who sets the rules and begins the game. The other woman can end it though, with her grit and wisdom.