Rebecca, is a British romantic thriller that was released in the United States on Oct. 21. While it holds the romance title, most of what it entails is quite far from the typical love story.
Maxim DeWinter tragically loses his wife, Rebecca, after she drowns in a boating accident. That is what everyone thinks at least. A young woman who is nameless to viewers at this point in the film, works as a companion for Mrs. Van Hopper, a rich woman in Monte Carlo. She randomly crosses paths with Maxim and they soon become infatuated with one another. The two spend about a month going on dates and falling in love, only a short amount of time spending time and asking questions about one another.
After getting the news that the woman she works for will be moving to New York, the companion panics at the idea that she will never see her new love again. To avoid separation, Maxim proposes to her and they eventually get married, giving her a new name, Mrs. DeWinter. After moving into the DeWinter mansion, Mrs. DeWinter immediately begins to suffer the consequences of rushing into marriage and she soon realizes that Maxim has been holding on to a lot of secrets about the death of his previous wife.
First off, constantly being compared to your husband’s previous wife can get very annoying. That is exactly what the mansion assistant, Mrs. Danvers does. She constantly reminds Mrs. DeWinter about how beautiful Rebecca was and how well she interacted with house staff. Mrs. DeWinter did not have one ounce of royal background or wealth. She wasn’t used to the parties, fancy food or basic mannerisms that came with being a royal wife. Mrs. Danvers never hesitated to flaunt Rebecca’s possessions and ultimately remind Mrs. DeWinter of what she was not. It’s hard living up to a name when you had no idea what you were getting into in the first place.
As Mrs. DeWinter settles into her new married life, she attempts to get Maxim to open up about Rebecca. Each attempt of her attempts however are met with swift declines and subject changes from Maxim. Mrs. DeWinter accepts this at first, but gradually becomes more frustrated with not knowing the truth about Maxim’s past. As she grows more relentless, Maxim slowly lets his guard down and begins revealing what actually happened.
Unbeknownst to Maxim, Rebecca had ovarian cancer that was too advanced to guarantee her survival. But instead of actually telling Maxim, Rebecca tells him instead that she is pregnant and that Maxim isn’t the father. Rebecca continues her lie and tells him that she became pregnant as a result from an outside affair she had. She then forces Maxim to shoot and kill her to avoid the long, painful death that the cancer would’ve caused. For Maxim, however, it was to avoid public shame of getting a divorce. Law enforcement realized that the body Maxim identified as Rebecca was not actually her, resulting in Maxim being charged with murder.
Mrs. DeWinter is forced to fight to prove Maxim is innocent of any wrongdoing. This is where the issue falls in. For the sake of the film, we will call this true love. In reality, however, this was a train wreck waiting to happen.
Beyond the fact that they got married in a huge rush, they did not know each other one bit. Mrs. DeWinter asked important questions on several occasions, but she made the deadly mistake of constantly accepting Maxim’s secretive acts. That isn’t healthy or smart. Also, being that she was later made aware of the actual circumstances surrounding Rebecca’s death, she could have easily been charged with being an accessory to a crime. Is love really worth all that? Not to mention, Mrs. Danvers made it her life mission to ensure that Maxim was sentenced. This film spins the circumstances of Maxim and Mrs. DeWinter and projects it as romantic, but it really isn’t at all. The amount of secrets being kept and lack of communication caused so much unnecessary turmoil. Considering that most viewers like some sort of action and drama, Rebecca is overflowing in that department.