Aug 22, 2011 (Calcutta Tube): Now, Voyager is 1942 English movie directed by Irving Rapper with Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains and others in the cast. Set in the backdrop of Boston, it is a story of self revelation and discovery of a woman, inconfident, unattractive who transforms into someone no one has ever dreamt her of to be.
[ReviewAZON asin=”B0008ENIKM” display=”inlinepost”]Bette Davis plays the protagonist, Charlotte Vale, a grown up lady who is under the strong dictatorship of her mother. Both have their own set of problems which seem to deviate from what we call normal. The constant emotional and verbal torture of her mother has developed severe personality problems for Charlotte, like extreme lack of self confidence and nervousness.
Luckily for Charlotte, his sister-in-law brings in Dr. Jaquith who takes her to his sanitarium for treatment. Charlotte finds a new life, a new reason for living. She is transformed into an attractive lady both bodily, and spiritually. Then when she is on a cruise to south America, she meets Jerry Durrance, a fine gentleman. Jerry is married, and yet they develop a relationship. Jerry has problems in his family, almost the same thing that Charlotte has, or least had, with her mother. But he is strongly attached to his daughter Tina.
During the trip when Charlotte and Jerry takes a car ride and meet and accident, miss the cruise, they come even closer. But when the trip ends they both know that they will not meet each other in future.
Charlotte comes back home and starts a new life with her mother, where the old lady cannot outwit her anymore. Charlotte makes every move with intelligence and grace and writes about everything happening around her to her doctor. But when she breaks her engagement with a rich eligible widower, she and her mother gets into a row which causes her mother to have an heart attack. Devastated by this death, and feeling guilty for her part in the row she goes back to the sanitarium to find comfort.
There she sees a young girl who reminds her of her youth and takes interest in her and helps her cope her situation. The girl turns out to be Jerry’s daughter Tina. They both travel together and the doctor gives her permission to take Tina with her. They come back to Boston. When Jerry visits them, he realizes how happy Tina is with Charlotte. The relation that never developed between the mother daughter duo (for both women) has taken a successful turn here. Jerry leaves Tina with Charlotte, which again develops a new bond between them, though they cannot unite in life due to circumstances.
The casting is excellent. Bette Davis is excellent as Charlotte Vale and portrays her two different selves with dexterity. She looks gorgeous in her outstanding designer costumes. The camera work is good.
Davis was nominated for the Oscars Best Actress in leading role and Gladys Cooper as the Best Actress in supporting role while Max Steiner won the Oscars for the Best Music category.
The script is a strong is another backbone of the film which brings out the mathematics of the characters and their relationships. The distorted relationship between a mother and her child startles us.
Now, Voyager is a classic story to watch for all times.