Carol: A Tale of Sexual Identity & Ironic Romance

“There were no words; her gaze said it all.”

Todd Hayne’s adaptation of “CAROL” is a hauntingly beautiful development of attraction between Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara) and Carol (Cate Blanchett) in New York City circa 1950.

An exquisite work of art, it brims with delicate movements and few words, leaving passion communicated mostly by body language and eye communication. It starts and ends with no inclusion of words, yet leaves the audience with a single conclusion; purely by the derivative of an interlocking eye gaze.


Literature junkies would find themselves constantly searching for satirical and occasionally metaphoric elements that leave one guessing. Adapted from the novel “The Price of Salt” by Patricia Highsmith, it is a classic romance yet unclassic, with the exploration of various themes that plagued literature in the 50s: gender equality, homosexuality, and role stereotypes.

The film explores the obstacles that the pair face and scours the surface of the other characters, focusing on the leads.


“CAROL” is a tale of female romance that is ironically a microcosm of everyday relationships – scrutinised microscopically down to both women’s emotions and expression. The characterisation of Carol, while meticulously beautiful and classy, reveals that beneath the exterior façade lies a woman fragile and in need of emotional love.

Innocent, young Therese would be your average girl-next-door in a typical boy-girl romance at her impressionable phase and, though unseen to others, pursuing her sexual identity and struggling with reconciling her emotions.

“CAROL” is a movie experience to be savoured.

CAROL (R21) will officially be released in Singapore on 24th December.

Directed by: Todd Haynes
Genre: Drama, Romance
Running time: 119 minutes
Classification: R21 – Homosexual Theme
Release date: 24 December 2015
Rating: 4/5

Credit: Festival de Cannes


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