While Paltrow does manage to give an inspired performance that shows effort, the problem with "Sylvia" is it romanticizes someone who was obviously stricken with a horrible mental disability. As always, poets and singers who manage to commit suicide are portrayed as people who have done something elegant, a deed such as suicide is portrayed here with such a fantastic and dreamy nature and never does it focus on the sheer extreme results such as misery.
This manages to romanticize
suicide and takes a woman who had obviously a mental illness and makes
her seem as if suicide was a grand gesture to end her misery when in
fact it was just sad. People who may have found Plath's work to be good
will either be shocked by her suicide, or, worse, in love with her
suicide. This does not focus on the misery she may have experienced
during depression and constant suicidal attempts and she was an
This also does seem to take liberties with her life as some scenes just felt fabricated and thrown in to romanticize this tragic person even further, scenes that were just melodramatic and never had an impact on the story or the audience. Paltrow doesn't really seem to embody the character of Sylvia nor does she ever seem engrossed in her personality and quirks, she always looks like Paltrow playing someone instead of her becoming someone. The film never really seems as if it wants to bring something new to the poet's legacy, the biographical picture is as it should be and pretty routine with the same usual plot turns which is odd for a true story.
Nonetheless we must wade through
countless dialogue that never really seems to be going anywhere and we
never learn a lot of the creative process behind Plath's poems, how she
The film seemingly goes nowhere with a plot and dialogue and situations that lead to nowhere and say nothing about Plath and makes the movie more of a melodrama of Plath's life rather than a portrait of her, as well, it focuses more on her personal life, rather than the creation of her poetry and what she struggled through, except it's turned into a romance involving a real person who lived. We don't see an artist here, we only see a lovelorn insecure woman whose life revolved around a man, and whose poetry stemmed from heartbreak, perhaps there could have been more, perhaps we could have seen a lot more of her poetry and in the process would end up recruiting new fans of her, instead it's just melodramatic garbage. In the end, through her final days, we never feel as if we've learned something about her life from watching, we only feel as if we've watched a romance that never had a point.
While Paltrow does manage to give a good performance, "Sylvia" never pulls
off the independent life of a poet, yet, in the end just ends up
becoming a Holllywood