Jane, Go Back to Vietnam

     The 1973 film A Doll's House, based on Henrik Ibsen's 1879, play makes the female viewer ashamed of the whole idea of women's liberation. Jane Fonda plays the role of Nora Helmer. Nora's individuality is suppressed by her husband Torvald, played by David Warner. Directed by blacklisted Joseph Losey, this movie seemed to be made merely for Jane Fonda to make a feminist statement.

     In the 1879 play, Henrik Ibsen was making a statement about how women were suppressed in the Victorian Age, which during those times, such a statement needed to be made. He made sure to let the reader know that, even though Nora acts childish around Torvald, she is a woman who has brains and made a sacrifice for her husband to get over his illness (by borrowing the money secretly so they could stay in Italy). In the film, Fonda plays Nora in such a way that the viewer feels that she only borrowed the money to have a secret to keep form her husband. Jane also spends the majority of the movie jumping around, acting like a child, and stuffing macaroons in her mouth behind Torvald's back. How many American women can relate to Jane's goofy portrayal of Nora? I hope, not many. Rather than the audience seeing how Nora's individuality is suppressed by Torvald, we see how silly Nora is and how she should be yanked up and spanked by Torvald.

     Another disappointing aspect of this film was the fact that David Warner played Torvald. Jane and David are certainly not acting as if they are a married couple in this film. Of course, I cannot blame Jane for this; David Warner is not easy to look at. When he wants to hop in the sack with Nora after her dance, I thought I was going to be sick. I am inclined to think that they could have gotten someone a bit better looking to play Torvald; perhaps it would have made Nora want to stay.

     Then to top off this already disappointing film, "Ms. Women's Lib" decides to get serious. Jane spends the entire movie acting as if she does not have a brain cell in her head, but in the last five minutes she goes through this long women's lib spiel about leaving so she can find herself. Find herself? The Nora that we had watched throughout the majority of the movie could not find the door, not to mention her "self." It's as if they ran out of time, staying somewhat true to Ibsen's play; then BAM Jane punches poor unsuspecting Torvald in the face; perhaps it was a clause in her movie contract. So, Jane go back to North Vietnam to teach your liberation lesson to someone who needs them, and by the way take ugly David Warner with you.

April Russell

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