Susan Traherne has been irreparably changed by her wartime experiences as a Resistance fighter. She sets out in the post-war world to make her way to what she wants, no matter who is hurt, or how. Written by
"Plenty" needs to be seen on a big screen in a theatre; more than most, this is a film that suffers in its translation to a TV screen. (Among other things, there are scenes that are simply ruined in the format change--like the hilarious scene of Streep and Sting on a sofa as Queen Elizabeth's coronation plays live on the tellie!) Sound is also important to fully appreciating the film--like the constant reminders of the sound of opening parachutes that echo throughout the story.
It's easy to understand why the film was not a box office success; it focuses on a woman who is not terribly likeable, but I contend that it is a movie rich in observations that transcend post-war Britain and the borish woman who develops in that milieu. "Plenty" is (among other things) about passion, diplomacy, memory, self-deception and the great expectations that are so easily squashed in our unheroic modern world. The film (and Hare's play before it) revolves around a crucial scene brilliantly played by a startlingly mad Streep and Ian McKellan's icily insightful foreign service officer--well past the film's mid-point. After his long-in-coming dose of reality, Streep's Susan takes a tailspin into the movie's melancholy conclusion. It's not an easy film to "enjoy," but the uniformly brilliant performances from Streep, Charles Dance, Tracy Ullman and John Gielgud make the film fascinating to watch and rewarding to have experienced.
25 of 31 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?