Gemma Arterton stars as a housewife and mother suffocating under the weight of her domestic burdens who makes the extraordinary decision to abandon her family in order to find herself.
Tara's life is the picture many women dream of (or are told they should dream of ): a stay-at-home mom of two young kids — one boy, one girl — a handsome husband earning a handsome salary, and a beautifully appointed, modern home. Her withdrawn and melancholic mood shrugged off by family and friends, she's told she should want for nothing. But she does want.
As she suffocates in her domestic role, Tara (Gemma Arterton) spends her days carting her kids around to school and the park and prepping meals. She doesn't have time to do her hair or to take an art class that interests her, let alone think about a career. The occasional date night and routine, impersonal Saturday-morning sex with her husband are no longer enough to compensate for insensitive comments about laundry piling up or all the spilt orange juice. Always the disciplinarian and never the playmate, Tara doesn't have the luxury of showing her children affection. It's clear that she does love them, but she's also aware that if she doesn't learn to love herself, she may never be able to escape from the cycle of unhappiness that swirls around her.
Shot in a claustrophobic, urgent, realist style by cinematographer Laurie Rose (frequent collaborator of director Ben Wheatley), Dominic Savage's intensely visual storytelling is aided by the raw and affecting performances of Arterton and Dominic Cooper. Capturing the rollercoaster of emotions that Tara experiences every day, The Escape paints a picture of a drowning woman who desperately needs to come up for air.
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