A Dollís House: Could It Get Any Worse?

†††††††† The story of Henrik Ibsenís 1879 A Dollís House is about a married couple. The husband, Torvald, treats the wife, Nora like a child. It is for this reason that Nora as a secret involving borrowing money, while forging her dying fatherís signature, to take him on a trip when he was sick. The story basically revolves around Nora trying to keep this secret. Krogstad, a man whom Torvald has fired from the bank is the person Nora had borrowed the money from, and he is threatening to reveal her secret if Torvald does not give him back his job. With all these dramatic conflicts, one would think it would make a good film.

†††††††† The two versions of A Dollís House, both directed in 1973 by Joseph Losey and Patrick Garland respectively, were the worst films we watched all semester. The story is O.K. but it does not translate at all to film. I am surprised if it was even a good play. Both films start off slow, and it is just not a good enough story to take up the length of a film. The settings were dull in both films. There is no action. The characters do not play well to the dramatic conflicts going on in the story. There is Christine (Delphine Seyrig), Noraís friend from a long time ago who comes back and tries to help Nora (Jane Fonda/Claire Bloom) with Krogstad (Edward Fox/Denholm Elliot). There is the couplesí friend, Dr. Rank (Trevor Howard), who is dying and professes his true feelings for Nora. The fact that Nora is hiding from her real feelings for Torvald makes everything in the movie seem pointless. And the audience does not even know how Nora truly feels about Torvald until the end.

†††††††† The ending to the story provides the most excitement from the whole thing. In a surprise move, Nora leaves Torvald. This is the only thing making the story worthwhile to watch, and it is only interesting because it is surprising. Still with the surprise of that ending, the audience is left wondering why she left or if she should or should not have left. I was just left wondering why they made not only one, but two versions of this movie.

Brian Schuldt

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