Monday, March 24, 2014

Movie Monday: A Doll's House

A Doll's House
On the second and fourth Monday of every month, I feature Movie Monday. I recognize that few people have the time or desire to read the amount I do, especially when it comes to the 100 Best Novels list. Luckily, Hollywood loves adapting a classic and I love a good movie almost as much as a good book.

Last week, I reviewed Henrik Ibsen's work, A Doll's House. This is the first play that I have discussed here on the blog. I enjoyed stepping a little out of the typical mold, even if it was due to grad school assignments. 

After I read the play for class, my first move was to check for any film adaptations. Often with theatrical works, things are simply translated better visually. Before I dove into assignments about the play, I wanted to make sure I grasped as many of its nuances as possible.

Thankfully, Netflix had this 1973 rendition available to watch instantly. Sidebar: What did the world do before Netflix? It served as a great supplemental experience to reading the play and I had many of the same feelings about the movie as I did the written work.

I found Nora just as unlikable on screen as on the page. While you could see a touch more depth, her actions and motivations were still confusing and seemingly self-centered. Even her time spent playing with her children felt less genuine than in the script. 

The movie did stay extremely true to the script, which was helpful for my purposes. It definitely aided me to see it, rather than just read it. There were a few moments which translated much better when acted out. 

I had hoped that the somewhat disjointed feel of the script would be remedied on screen. Alas, not so. The relationships between the characters never rang true for me, less on screen, in fact. Their interactions feel awkward, as though they are all merely Ibsen's puppets for the sake of story. The film especially felt inorganic.

I would, at least, give Anthony Hopkins some credit. He gave the best performance among the cast. No surprise that he is the only recognizable name to me among the actors.

The film gets an A+ for adhering to its inspiration. Unfortunately, I simply did not connect with its inspiration. Putting it on the screen only helped minimally. 

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