Leave It Alone

     I could see where many people might enjoy Patrick Garland's directed 1973 version of Henrik Ibsen's 1879 A Doll's House. But I did not.

The movie was a period piece, which starred Anthony Hopkins. Hopkins, of course, is best known for his role as Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, directed in 1991 by Jonathan Demme. His acting job in that movie was far superior than his role as Torvald in this movie.

     More disappointing to me was Torvald's wife, Nora, played by Claire Bloom. Her character required her to be fragile, but she got stronger at the end. I think both roles for the above actors were wrong. Hopkins and Bloom were not supposed to have chemistry in their roles, but the performance they gave as two spouses bored with each other was not convincing at all.

     The pace of the movie was really slow too. The fact that most of the movie took place in Torvald and Nora's house might have been why the movie was slow. A more striking change of scenery every now and then would have helped with the variety of the movie.

     As for the period of the movie, that was very accurate. The clothing and costuming were very consistent with the period the movie was made in. There was nothing to show that the movie was made in the 1970s, except for color. There were no anachronisms like automobiles or anything. The fact that the movie stuck to the period did not make me enjoy it any more. Although Hopkins is a fine actor, a more established British actor at that time could probably have taken that role and made it better. However, one has to take the movie at face value because the script calls for the actor to give that kind of performance. Whether or not another actor would have done better in this role is mere conjecture on my part.

     Overall, I just did not enjoy the movie. I do not really enjoy many period pieces. It seems that movie makers want to take something out of the past and create it again, when they would be well enough to leave it alone. Movies remade into newer movies always are compared to the originals, and movies made from books or plays are always compared to the original work. In this case, the powers-that-be should have left well enough alone.

Greg Stark

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