Facing the harsh reality of many relationships

Netflix’s new original brings light to a devastating topic


Photo courtesy of Netflix

Marriage Story is about the story of a stage director and his wife, an actor while they struggle through a coast-to-coast divorce. It is written,directed and produced by Noah Baumbach and released through Netflix. The stars of the film are Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver.

Katelyn Hahn, Staff Reporter

Marriage story, a Netflix film directed by Noah Baumbach, is a precise depiction of the hardships many couples face. Charlie (Adam Driver) and Nicole (Scarlett Johansson) go through the hard journey of divorce while experiencing issues with what to do with their son, Henry (Azhy Robertson). 

The movie opens with a list of observations that Charlie and Nicole love about each other. Charlie says compliments such as “She listens, she chooses great presents, she’s brave, she’s a mother who plays – really plays.” It then continues on with the story of their divorce and the problems they face. 

Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson do an outstanding job portraying a struggling couple going through a divorce. They illustrate their characters exactly and make the audience feel for them. Johansson creates a character that is resentful, but also kind and empathetic. That role can be extremely hard to act in and she did it phenomenally. Driver gives Charlie a complex personality of him being arrogant at some moments but kind-hearted at others. The actors work extremely well together along with creating the personalities of their characters. 

Baumbach’s film does not only focus on the parents in the harsh divorce, it also centers on the kid going through the split of his parents. Robertson does a fantastic job at portraying Henry, a kid going through his parents divorce. He creates a character that denies and misunderstands the situation of his parents splitting.  Robertson acts as if their divorce is not a big deal and continues to play with his toys. His acting plays a major role in the accuracy of this movie. 

Baumbach has created a film that makes no real villain while keeping the movie exceptionally exciting. Nicole and Charlie both had their negative traits, but neither were portrayed as the one in the wrong. In many movies or shows of couples facing issues, one partner is shown as the wrongdoer. This is not the case in Marriage Story. Baumbach makes sure to accurately display a divorce by showing it as a problem that was needed by both sides. Both Nicole and Charlie had reasons for the divorce and knew that it was the healthy thing to do. This made the film more accurate and enjoyable. 

Marriage Story’s plot and script always keeps viewers interested and wanting to continue watching. The opening creates a fantastic hook to the plot and draws the viewers in. While it confuses the audience at first, it keeps them interested in what is going on and how this will apply later in the film In other parts, surprising events occur, keeping the interest of the audience. The whole movie is intense and keeps viewers on their toes. 

This film brings forward positives to a heavy issue. With this whole movie being about something generally saddening, most would expect the movie to be depressing or gloomy. However, this is not the case for Marriage Story. Feel good moments occur throughout the movie. Seeing Henry learning to read by practicing with his mother’s notes about what she loves about Charlie warms the audience’s heart. It offers happy moments to go alongside the rough and upsetting events. 

In the real world, many relationships could be toxic without realization. Not all toxic relationships are defined as abuse or mistreatment, many are just unhealthy as a result of two people not being right for one and other. Marriage Story can be a reminder for some to see if their relationship is harmful. In the movie, Nicole lists the reasons as to why she wanted to split. She says that Charlie never listened to what she wanted and he always thought of himself first. Points such as these and many more led to their divorce. This film could remind many people watching of their relationships and help them check to see if it is healthy. 

Marriage Story may seem like a boring and uninteresting narrative about two adults going through a divorce, but it is nothing like that. The combination of astonishing acting, a number of emotions, a remarkable plot and authenticity make this movie incredible. I would recommend this film to anyone as it uncovers light to a downhearted topic. It is truly a sensational movie.