celebrity culture

Brangelina no more: Five break-up films before celebrity couples decided to go their separate ways

Stories of the end of a relationship or a divorce foretold, one painful scene at a time.

The gossip magazines were right after all: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are getting divorced.

Jolie has filed for divorce “for the health of the family”, according to a statement released by her lawyer. The couple, which has been together since 2005 and were married in 2014, has six children together, three of which are adopted. Pitt was married to Jennifer Aniston when he met Jolie during the shoot of Mr and Mrs Smith in 2004. Jolie has been previously been married to Jonny Lee Miller and Billy Bob Thornton.

Murmurs of mutual trouble were swirling when Jolie directed her second film, By the Sea, in 2015. We predict a spike in sales of the film’s DVDs, since it is about a couple trapped in a loveless marriage. Roland (Pitt) and Vanessa (Jolie) travel to a seaside hotel in France, where their encounters with other people, including a married couple in the neighbouring room, help them decide to give their relationship a second chance. Art clearly does not imitate life.

‘By the Sea’.

Mike Nichols’s 1966 film Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, based on the Edward Albee play, is also about the volatile marriage of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. Not really, but what is how audiences and critics at the time saw the raging fights, petty arguments and mutual insults that fly between the long-married academic couple (and recently wed pair in real life) in the movie. Burton and Taylor had left their respective spouses to marry each other only two years before the movie. They were the Brangelina of their time (the press called them “Liz and Dick”). They divorced in 1974, remarried in 1975, and finally divorced again in 1976.

‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf’.

One of the most well-known chronicles of the end foretold on film is Orson Welles’s Lady From Shanghai (1974), made at a particularly fraught time during Welles’s marriage with lead actress Rita Hayworth. The movie’s brilliance is undisputed, but it was hinted that Welles took out his frustrations again Hayworth in the treatment of her character, an ice-cold blonde who meets a tragic end for her perfidy. Trust Welles to create one of the most gorgeous and disturbing break-up scenes ever filmed – the copiously copied Hall of Mirrors sequence. The divorce happened soon after.

‘Lady From Shanghai’.

Couples on the verge of a breakdown undeniably make for great cinema and television. The professional and romantic relationship between Norwegian actress and director Liv Ullmann and Swedish master Ingmar Bergman lasted for 42 often turbulent years and produced some of the most searing examinations of love lost, regained, and lost again. Bergman’s 1973 Swedish television series Scenes from a Marriage depicts a breakdown in slow motion between a professor (Erland Josephson) and a lawyer (Ullman). The portrait of a marriage that throttles both partners is one of its kind. More painful is the honesty with which Bergman depicts, and the actors perform, the lies that that estranged couples tell each other and themselves. Do not watch with a partner – there will be bitter arguments, make-up sex, and a call to the lawyer the next day.

‘Scenes from a Marriage’.

Even Indian cinema has not been immune to real-life permanent separations playing out on the screen. Imtiaz Ali’s best movie Jab We Met, from 2007, starred the recently separated real-life couple Kareena Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor – a screen match made in heaven that was actually coming undone even before the film was released. None of it showed on the screen, though: both actors are at their professional best and are most convincing as a couple destined for life, at least in the movie.

‘Jab We Met’.
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Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.


2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.