The Wife – Review
by Anita Markoff
The Wife is a beautiful warning to young female writers not to allow themselves to stand in the creative shadows of the men they date.
The film creates an intense and realistic portrayal of a family at both their most tender and most destructive moments. It starts off gently, with slow moments of intimacy between the old husband and wife building up to the night of the Nobel Prize awards. The colour palette is an elegant mix of blues and mahogany, a perfect mingling of the warmth and coldness the marriage draws out of both partners. Despite the husband winning a Nobel Prize in the opening scene, over the course of the plot, there is a rising tension within the relationship slowly simmering to the surface, conveyed through subtle glances and gestures. It is obvious that something is not right, either between the father and his brooding son or the husband and his hurt wife. Stilted zooms are used to make the viewers feel uncomfortable, as we watch the emotions sweeping across the face of the wife, while her husband receives acclamation for his novel. Eventually, the message of the film becomes clear, and it is one of female empowerment. She emerges from the confined spaces of a plane and a car, as caged by the camera as she is in her marriage, into open spaces where she is the centre of the screen. Lighting is used to great effect and the climax of the film occurs when she is no longer in the shadows but put in the limelight for the first time. Through her reclamation of her role as a talented female writer, she inspires women off-screen everywhere to step into their own spotlights and recognise that they can be artists in their own right, rather than just functioning as a muse for their male partners.