Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander
Directed by Tom Hooper
It couldn’t be simpler: two artists were in love. Einar and Gerda have been married for six years, and they were totally infatuated with each other… until Lili moved in.
In this Oscar-nominated film, the depths of love and self-discovery are explored between a man and wife. There had always been a bit of woman inside Einar (Redmayne), but it took a day of pretending to be one to really open his eyes to what was inside him. He enjoyed wearing women’s clothing a little too much, while makeup and a wig helped transform him into someone else a little too easily.
Some days Gerda (Vikander) discovered her husband in women’s clothes, and on these days Einar preferred to be called Lili. In the beginning it was fun for Gerda to dress her husband up as a woman and teach him how to be feminine. When she realizes it has become much more than pretend, she struggles to accept him for who he tries to be, who he feels he really is.
The Danish Girl is not all about Gerda. It’s about a woman who has always felt misplaced in the world, because she was born with male parts. As Lili, Einar can go out in public as the woman she is. Lili talked to multiple doctors to find answers, but they all had different labels and treatments that were not suitable. Finally, there is one doctor who accepts Lili for who she is and offers two operations that would make her completely female. The catch? No one has undergone this kind of operation before, and it would be a big risk.
The Danish Girl is a moving story of fighting for the freedom to be who you truly are. While as Einar, few close friends knew about Lili, and there was never any harassment when Lili walked among society. Only a bad encounter in Paris, and doctor’s label of schizophrenia and mentally ill, showed how society viewed effeminate men, when Einar walked in public with a silky rose blouse and light pants. Otherwise, Lili was accepted as a woman, no questions asked.
The struggle largely remained between the changing dynamic of Einar and Gerda’s relationship. As Einar transitioned, so did his intimacy with his wife. Gerda’s love for Einar was so strong, she believed Lili to be a phase. She begged to have her husband back when Lili was out. Despite all, she loved him and eventually came to accept his transition.
Lili was clearly in Einar all along, and it took strength and courage for her to love herself. Lili knew who she wanted to be, and she chased the dream to be whole.
The Danish Girl was a beautiful movie and the actors portrayal of their characters all helped bring Lili’s story to life.
Photo credit: http://www.focusfeatures.com/the_danish_girl