Movie Review: Carol

carol movie

Dearest. There are no accidents and we would have found us one way or another. Everything comes full circle. Be grateful it was sooner rather than later. You’ll think it harsh of me to say so, but no explanation I offer will satisfy you. Please don’t be angry when I tell you that you seek resolutions and explanations because you’re young. But you will understand this one day. And when it happens, I want you to imagine me there to greet you, our lives stretched out ahead of us, a perpetual sunrise. But until then, there must be no contact between us. I have much to do, and you, my darling, even more. Please believe that I would do anything to see you happy. So, I do the only thing I can… I release you. _Carol



Love is attention. Love is selfish. Love is understanding. Love is selfless.

If anyone asks how do you define love and how do you define how deep your love is, I don’t think I can answer right away. Before watching this movie, I probably would have answered as much as I want to be with the person. But isn’t that selfish? To love someone because you need them?

How do we define true love? Love has different spectrums. And maybe the definition of love is different for everyone. But if you truly love someone, you need to try to give what they define as love. If that’s understanding, you need to try to understand them, be there for them when they need someone to understand them. Love is selfless in that sense.



Love is also knowing. You want to know about the person you love. You want to know everything about them, you want to hear their thoughts, you want to know what they like and hate. Everything about them is interesting to you. Does the love end when you stop wondering about that person?

Some people have the expectations for their loved ones and believe they love them truly because they are the ones who they define they love. Isn’t it just fitting your loved one to the mold that you have in your mind? Isn’t that love for convenience? What happens when your perfect love changes like everything on Earth does?

If you truly love someone, you need to release them to be themselves. You want to know about them and you are interested in everything about them but you need to be able to let them be. Like Carol did, she released Terese once she thought she’s getting Terese into the mess and seeing Terese being tormented with the thought that she is useless to Carol. Although Carol let go of Terese for reasons like her divorce suit and winning the custody of her daughter, Carol was interested in what Terese thinks and likes, she observed her and wanted her to be happy by giving what she likes. But never did she try to change her to her own liking, her own way like all the other men did in the movie.

Men loved Carol or Terese for them being their ideal type of wife or girlfriend. They didn’t know or understand what Carol and Terese liked, wanted or how they can be happy.

Love is selfish in a way you want to be with the person because you need them. You have void or boredom in your life and you want to fill it with the person you love or byproducts from the love you have with that person. It is selfish to feel complete by having that person then you can’t let them be free. It’s counterintuitive to the completeness one can achieve by being oneself. Does that make love selfish to want to fill whatever void they have in their life with the person you love?



Carol and Terese were feeling the void in their life that they didn’t even know it exists or how to fill until they found each other across a department store with everyone blurred except for each other. They could fill each other’s void and find meaning to their barren life. Love blossomed through the tunnel in the cold winter land.

Love is also selfless because you want to change to be what your love needs. You want to understand them and take the time to know them, learn them to be what they need.

Carol’s husband never took the interest to learn what makes Carol happy or what she wanted. He started getting obsessed about her once he found out that Carol is not the ideal type of wife he thought she was by cheating on him with her best friend Abby. Is that just different spectrum of love because love is inevitably selfish?

Magical love like Carol and Terese had in the movie ‘Carol’ has the components of the relationship where they fill each other’s void like puzzle. They were the pieces they have been looking for without realizing they are looking for it. They were the pieces of the puzzle that finally finished it and solved all the mysteries that troubled them and realize their life itself is a beautiful photo. They grow by being with each other. Carol accepts who she is even giving up the custody of her daughter from hiding and denying who she is for her divorce suit. Terese becomes proactive in pursuit of what she wants from letting everything happen to her without saying no. It is beautiful to watch two different individuals find each other and becoming their true selves by being with each other. That is true love.

Sometimes fate comes find you like it’s flung out of space to love you in different forms. Like Jim and Eleven from Stranger Things, it seems miraculous they found each other but at the same time it was meant to be. They were the last dots for each other to connect and finish the story. They needed each other and only each other could fill the void in their lives.

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This also implies how magical and miraculous to find your loved one. Life is complicated and love has many pre-conditions. You give each other what each other defines as love. You can be yourself with your love and your true self is what your love wants and desires. How hard is it to meet all these qualifications? And as your love develops, it becomes harder to not get attached to the love and your loved one. Everything changes including your love and your loved one. That’s when we need to be selfless and let them be who they are, changed or not.

But what if they change to be who you don’t define as your loved one like Carol did to her husband? If Carol’s husband accepted her as who she is and showed her selfless, agape love, would things have changed? My query for true love didn’t finish with the movie.

Certainly, Carol was a sad and beautiful movie that could question us what we define as love.

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