Tuesday, 17 May 2016
The illusion of love
I went to see the film of Florence Foster Jenkins yesterday, and found it fascinating. For those that don't know, she was a wealthy woman who long aspired to be an opera singer, despite the fact that she couldn't sing. Her ambition was to sing at Carnegie Hall, which she did - and recordings of her voice are quite excruciating, though she believed she sang beautifully. Her devoted husband supported her in this, wanting her to be happy. But was he supporting an illusion, or merely doing her best to make her happy because he loved her?
Meryl Streep, who plays Florence, talks about the illusion of love in an interview. But I'm interested in this dilemma. Was Florence's husband being cruel, going along with this illusion that his wife could sing, when it made her very happy - and was her whole raison d'être? Would it not have been more honest to tell her she couldn't sing? But that would have crushed her hopes and her spirit, could well have wrecked their marriage.
AT the end of the day, he did what he felt was best for her - he protected her and made her happy. That was his decision, and if they were both laughed at throughout society, that was his decision. As always, there are different ways of looking at it.
What do you think?