Allow Jane to Demonstrate

         It has been a name associated with countless causes and sub-par films, an alias that strikes fear in the hearts of moviegoers and rational human beings alike. What is this name that cause migraines in those of us with reasonable ideas and analytical minds? Jane Fonda, a woman who has always stood for something, even if she has no idea why. It is bothersome enough that people like Miss/Ms. Fonda disgrace the papers with her political agenda but when her self-serving views spill over into great plays and films it is a blunder that deserves blacklisting. This truth is self-evident in the 1973 film A Doll's House, directed by Joseph Losey and based on the 1879 Henrik Ibsen play of the same name. The film takes the clever well-paced ideas of Ibsen and turns them into a trite confusing statement of the women's liberation movement. Two things become abundantly clear while one is watching A Doll's House: the film-makers are really trying to make a statement, and they have no idea what there talking about.

         In the original play A Doll's House, Henrik portrays the marriage of Torvald and Nora as a marriage of lies and placation that show the importance of honesty in all human relationships. The 1973 film A Doll's House depicts the union as a dictatorship that demands the mistreatment of Nora by Toravald (David Warner) in order to show the presence of true evil in the hearts of men. This trite and unimaginative statement of male iniquity is a far cry from the poignant seriousness of Ibsen's original work and actually takes away from the importance of women's rights by accidentally becoming a caricature of a series discussion. By transforming Torvald from an unintentionally controlling husband in denial to a power-crazed abuser of the feminine persuasion, the director undermined the importance of his own statement and inspires laughter from an audience that was once ready to listen. The film A Doll's House is an obvious reflection of Jane Fonda's views of the time put in motion picture format from what was once a great play. The medium of commercial advertisement would have lent better to Ms./Miss Fonda's purpose of pushing her uneducated beliefs on others. If A Doll's House were just a commercial, the audience might find some satisfaction, because they could just file it under "ad nausem" and change the channel.

         There are many ways to completely destroy a film adaptation of a classical work: the change of characters, misinterpretation of the material, or addition of unnecessary material. While all of these can be disheartening to a moviegoer who loves an original work, none was more offensive than the use of A Doll's House as political propaganda. It is unfortunate that Jane Fonda has had so many causes that she has half-heartedly fought for and understood, but it is much worse that an actress would have so little respect for her profession to taint it with a self-serving film like A Doll's House. Jane Fonda is a woman that will demonstrate for what she believes in, even if she has no substantial reason to believe it. If Miss/Ms Fonda has taught me anything about believing, it is if you see a film, newsreel, or article quoting her on the truth of the world, do not believe it.

Dennis H. Robison

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