Friday, November 16, 2012

A Doll's House (1973) Review:

As the new generations come into this world, it is important for them to understand how society has evolved. It's important to know how long it took for various races and individuals to earn their credibility with its community. I was always told how women were treated centuries ago. Much of it was through reading articles and other author's personal experiences. But it was not until I saw this film that I realized in ninety minutes how a woman was regarded solely as an asset and/or eye candy. And that's what this film does; give an accurate feel for how much power women had in society.

Claire Bloom as Nora
The story is about a woman, Nora Helmer, who takes a gamble to try and help her husband and ends up having it backfire on her. Actress Claire Bloom plays Nora Helmer. From start to finish, I liked her performance and how the attitude of her character gradually changed over time. Anthony Hopkins plays Nora's husband, Torvald. There's no doubt that the acting in this film is good. Anthony Hopkins is a very proficient actor. Any character that I've seen him portray is always interesting to watch and from what I’ve observed, he keeps the audience glued to the screen.

A very young Anthony Hopkins as Torvald
What surprised me the most was how other female characters in this story talked about how they "needed" to serve others. In my opinion, it was almost as if they had been brainwashed. An example of this was the character of Kristine Linde played by actress Anna Massey. The personality of Linde is almost callous in nature. I felt this vibe when she explained to Nora, why she did not care that her husband passed away. Seriously? And then she has the nerve to say that she is depressed because she has no one to work for. I have an idea, why don't you go out into the world and find yourself a job. Why get married, so all of one's possessions can be taken away, again?!

Centuries ago, a female's main job was to take care of the house and watch the children. A woman could not persuade her husband to do anything because this would jeopardize his masculinity. My question is how? No one will know what made the man of the house change his mind if the persuading happened behind closed doors. It's not like they had security cameras back then or anything. I understand how it could make a man look bad but it's not a life or death situation. Note that I am not criticizing the film, I am criticizing the society of that time.

One component I think that could have been improved in this film was the music. This movie is not an action film so I don't expect a whole lot but I did expect some sort of musical theme. I barely heard anything at all and John Barry composed this music! I really like Barry's work as a musical composer. He has made so many memorable tunes in different films. He also is the creator of all the 007 movie soundtracks. Surely I thought Barry, of all people, would have created something a little bit more intriguing. I guess composers aren’t always inspired to make truly unforgettable works.

Finally, my favorite scene is the ending when Nora talks with her husband about her life and what initiatives she has decided to take upon herself. Everything she said made total sense and what's funny, in weird way, is that it made Torvald so confused, that he didn't know how to react. It was great listening to Nora's words because if men in general, just listen to what women have to say, a door of new perspective will open. Women are not just another object in life. They are human beings. It’s important that everyone realizes they deserve everything a man deserves.

It doesn't have enough music to effectively initiate emotions that are supposed to be created, but as a whole, this film plays out very well with its transparent controversial agenda. It's nostalgic view on life for a woman of its time, will give the audience something to ponder about in the long run.

Points Earned --> 9:10

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