A Better Dollís House

†††††††† The 1973 film version of A Doll's House, directed by Patrick Garland, seemed to be more expressive with the characters' feeling and emotions. The emotional connection with the character had a stronger impact upon my reactions to the story and characters than did the 1973 film version, directed Joseph Losey. The characters' emotional expressions and reactions made the Garland's film more interesting and compelling than the expressions and reactions of the characters in Losey's version.

†††††††† The scene that had the strongest impact on me omit--the most was the one in which Nora Helmer (Claire Bloom) decided to leave her husband, Torvald Helmer (Anthony Hopkins). When he found out about Nora forging her father's signature and lying about having borrowed the money to save his life, Torvald became very angry and repeatedly called Nora a stupid woman. Then out of rage he hit her, which surprised Nora. Torvald began making unreasonable demands and concocting rigorous rules that he expected his immoral wife to respect and follow. On the contrary, the surly reaction of David Warner's Torvald to his cringing Nora, played by Jane Fonda, and did not do much for me at all.

†††††††† When Krogstad (Denholm Elliot) sent the second letter that stated he would no longer blackmail them, Torvald became happy and cheerful, expressing happiness towards Nora. As Nora was still shocked by the way Torvald had acted, she just stood there quietly as Torvald fatuously apologized for his temper and his reaction.

†††††††† While Torvald was explaining his reasons for his angry reaction towards her, she was in her room quietly and hastily packing her things. When she confronted Torvald with her bags in hand, he quickly wanted an explanation. More effectively serious than Jane Fonda's Nora, Claire Bloom's Nora told Torvald that she could no longer live with him, for all she was to him was his doll. He promptly defended himself by telling her that he would change and respect her opinions and beliefs from that moment on. The skeptical Nora, however, wanted the opportunity to gain her own opinions that she could not because she was a prisoner to her husband.

†††††††† In conclusion, the expressions and reactions of both characters was the initial reason I was more interested in Garland's movie than Losey's one. The ending in the second film was both more shocking and surprising than it was in the first one. When Hopkins' Torvald hit his wife, I felt an intense reaction to that scene. It was the best ending to a movie that I have seen thus far. In a heartbeat I would recommend this version over the one directed by Joseph Losey.

Maria Ratliff

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