This film moved me like no other. Having witnessed first hand friends of mine who have lost children to SIDs (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), I could appreciate the sentiments and experiences of the characters in this film.
The cruelty of "friends" and the idea that the mother AND father who lost her child were now somehow "unfit" to be near, or have their [former] social circle's children near, was heartbreaking, and only too true in our so-called "modern" society, where everything must be "just fine" in order to avoid being shunned or rejected.
What is this curse that afflicts our white middle class, especially "educated white middle class" females? Why would this young couple be further punished, after experiencing one of the worst kinds of pain, that of losing a child? Why does our society have no rituals of comforting those who are bereaved, other than a church service and an "Oh, I'm sorry to hear that..." as if talking about it and, more importantly, EXPRESSING GRIEF OUTWARDLY is taboo.
Is death and grief so unacceptable in today's world that those that have contact with it, or inadvertently experience it, must be punished further? Is no comfort to be offered, outside of "paying a therapist," "taking medication" or going to yet another group, this time a "grieving group?"
Is it still "Blame the Mother" for anything and everything that goes "wrong?" Does nature, or "the Creator," never have the right or the obligation to end a life for it's own reasons or purposes, or perhaps because something in a child did not develop right? Are we never to accept the natural events of life or of God or of anything that we "don't like" or "don't expect" or "didn't plan for this to happen?"
Who can you sue when a child dies? Whose "fault" is it? Why is it so impossible to accept death in today's society, and why do we punish the mothers who are touched by it, and grieve the most in it?
Are we all "supposed" to be living a "Martha Stewart kind of life?" Does Death have no meaning or purpose in this world?
The actors were all cast perfectly and their dialogue was so natural and "on the mark," it felt like they were in my own living room. I had wondered how far this "idyllic" pregnant mother's group would last, and to my horror and surprise, it didn't last past the birth of the first child in the group, to the most innocent of the group.
The cruelty displayed by all the couples towards the couple (both mother and father) who had lost their child was horrendous, heartbreaking and all too true, even in "this modern day and age." What will anthropologists have to say about us when they study our American culture as practiced by educated, middle class white men and women who are my own age?
The fact that this poor mother ultimately was forced to lie about being pregnant again to finally "gain acceptance" once again was truly heartbreaking, and a comment on how far "friendship" truly goes, in our "average white middle class America."
The director, Marc Forster; the writers Catherine Lloyd Burns (who also played "Judith" in the film) and Adam Forgash (writer and producer of the film), and all the actors are to be commended for their complete and accurate portrayal of our modern experience and reaction to "death" or anything that "goes wrong," for that matter.
The "witch" of the women's group (the "leader of the pack") is particularly to be commended at giving such a perfect portrayal as the ringleader, who leads the charge in ostracizing the most beautiful and innocent member, through her own jealousy and greed. She doesn't even like her own children, but is so "proud" to be "breeding" again. Is she nothing but an ever-present and ever-active brood mare? Do any of these women have an ounce of compassion in their hearts? What do they consider "friendship" to be? Did "witch trials" ever end?
Marc Forster is the same director who brought us "Monster's Ball." This is a stunningly beautiful dreamlike film that quickly turns into a psychological nightmare, based solely on natural events and the human reactions to those events. Death touches us all, and we must learn to accept and revere it in the same spirit we supposedly accept and revere birth. It's all part of the same cycle, and we all "live forever" through the turning of this wheel.
"Everything Put Together" is a must see film and one that will stay with you. Simply incredible.