Cultural critic David Kepesh finds his life -- which he indicates is a state of "emancipated manhood" -- thrown into tragic disarray by Consuela Castillo, a well-mannered student who awakens a sense of sexual possessiveness in her teacher.
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David Kepesh is growing old. He's a professor of literature, a student of American hedonism, and an amateur musician and photographer. When he finds a student attractive, Consuela, a 24-year-old Cuban, he sets out to seduce her. Along the way, he swims in deeper feelings, maybe he's drowning. She presses him to sort out what he wants from her, and a relationship develops. They talk of traveling. He confides in his friend, George, a poet long-married, who advises David to grow up and grow old. She invites him to meet her family. His own son, from a long-ended marriage, confronts him. Is the elegy for lost relationships, lost possibilities, beauty and time passing, or failure of nerve? Written by
I thoroughly enjoyed this film. As someone who is not familiar with Philip Roth's works, I found the story to be interesting and moving. What really made the movie so enjoyable to me was the focus on the interpersonal relationships between David Kepesh(Ben Kingsley) and several of the supporting players. For example, some of the film's most poignant moments came in the scenes featuring Kepesh and his best friend (played by Dennis Hopper.) While these scenes did not necessarily serve to move the plot along, they painted a picture of the daily struggles Kepesh faces and also the layers of his only true friendship. In addition, it was heart-wrenching to see Kepeshs' son (Peter Sarsgaard), now a 40-something man married with children, resorting to his father for advice and consolation. We found out that Kepesh left his son and wife many years past, and while his son has never truly forgiven his father, he finds himself committing similar mistakes (adultery) that lead his father to become the flawed, relationship-challenged man he is today. These complex relationships, in addition to several others in the film, allow us to closely examine this fascinating point in the life of David Kepesh.
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