Kareem’s review published on Letterboxd:
"My angel. Flung out of space."
Carol was the first LGBT movie I didn't watch alone, but at the cinema. I wasn't out yet and still struggling with my sexuality.
I hadn't read The Price of Salt, so this was a new story to me. I liked the movie and loved the performances, but I couldn't help feeling disappointed overall, after hearing so many great things about it.
I liked it better when I rewatched it later (I especially loved the cinematography and the score that time, I have no idea why the perfection of these aspects didn't occur to me the first time), but still not as much as I'd have like to and I felt frustrated for not completely loving it.
Then sometime later I came out as gay, I finally felt comfortable with myself and embraced who I am...and I rewatched it once again, and somehow, this time it clicked. And it clicked hard.
I don't know what exactly it was, but suddenly everything made sense to me. While I thought the relationship between Therese and Carol was stiff and unbelievable in the beginning, I then legitimately believed in their love, I understood their motives and their behaviour. I saw myself in both of them and suddenly I was teary-eyed for the rest of the film.
There is something incredibly intimate and subtle about how Haynes directs his two leads. The glances, the smiles, the touches. They are essential to the film, because they feel authentic and thus make the love between the leads feel authentic too.
I have never experienced love like this. I was never loved back by someone I loved. And I never loved someone back who loved me. I'm often very cynical about love, most of the time I don't even really believe in it.
When I rewatched this movie today, I just felt so right and comfortable with myself. I felt like it's possible that I'll find someone, someday, out there, who I will love and who will love me back.
I'm so grateful and I can't stress this enough; so so grateful for this new wave of great LGBT romances, especially this one, Moonlight and Call me by your Name, because they really are needed, especially in the face of right-wing parties rising. They are shaping how I see my place in the world, they make me feel worthy of love and they make me feel right, exactly how I am and always was.
The emotional resonance this film had this time was staggering. The ending is filled with hope, for the future, but also for love itself. My eyes were filled with tears, but I was smiling. And I still am.