IMDb > King Lear (1987) > Synopsis
King Lear
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Synopsis for
King Lear (1987) More at IMDbPro »

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Centering around the word No Thing . Jean Luc Godard a stalwart of the French New Wave superimposes his eccentric avant garde experimentalism A Study based on the Classic Shakespearean tragedy King Lear in a modern contextual interpretation . The film follows a non-linear plot structure as referred Shot In The Back in the intertitle . Godard brings forth his personal approach rendering a modern re- interpretation and his subjective re-construction. Peter Sellars a descendant of the legendary playwright William Shakespeare sets forth to revive his ancestors lost art in a world post the Chernobyl disaster. He discovers his characters under mysterious circumstances at a hotel in Nyon Vaud, Switzerland ( the locale is alluded as a mystical place in between France and Germany with sea and the woods). Don Learo and his daughter Cordelia substitute the father-daughter duo of the Shakespearean classic suffering from a similar or identical Hamartia, a tragic flaw so ingrained in the father-daughter relationship as the existential fight between Power versus Virtue. The outcome or the end is predictable, as Cordelia succumbs failing to express her love for her father. The lack of not having her heart in her mouth suffocates her in awkward circumstances depicted through her internal psychological conflict, brooding silence and disinterested appearance. Her inability or inexpression tortures her father intolerably as he attempts over the time to silence her silence. The No Thing or Nothing of Cordelia results in a faulty meaning generation owing to her fathers incapacity of acceptance and understanding, rather- misinterpreting her silence as a lack of love, leading to the tragic conclusion too late to rectify. Other alternate character additions worth mentioning- Professor Pluggy (starring Godard himself) a frenzied clairvoyant substitute of the Shakespearean Fool , obsessed with photocopying his own hand, whose strangely mysterious last words bear an uncannily absurd co-incidental reference to the name of the film editor Mr Alien featuring in the end. Godard also incorporates Shakespeares paranormal elements in the form of four shadowy human-like figures imitating and following the central characters everywhere ( as depicted in first half when Peter scribbles on a notepad whilst walking around the woods seeking inspiration the human goblins emulate and follow him ) . Godard surpasses nudity with this one, as he barely includes any intimate sequence or moments. As his character Peter is subjected by Cannon Films ( a film production company incidently the films producer )to exclusively exclude any form of nudity from his creative themes thus directing his interest in the father-daughter conversations patronising them as his central characters. The camera work and cinematography is well conceived opening new perspectives. The mise en scene is seamlessly blended as thematically the desolate tourist location is ideal, merging the backdrop smoothly into the plot .But the real show stealer are the ground breaking dialogues, interesting sound bits ( of screeching sea gulls ), intense voice-overs and critical soliloquies as the plotline gains its much momentum from the audio sound bits and the voice-overs helping in character introspection giving psychological insight in the characters mental state .Reference clippings of Renaissance artworks of Michaelangelo with some French Impressionism along with special emphasis on The Girl With A Pearl Earring of Johannes Vermeer and paintings of Francisco Goya, etc are focused through a candle flame depicting the necessity of art revival in the modern world interests .However, Godard successfully brings forth his subjective approach and personal interpretation though faltering significantly in generation of audience response and interests.. As the film defaults into a haphazardly non-linear structure at times losing track and audience interest ( although partially attempted to regenerate through the loud sound bits and uncanny voices) .The film lacks outlined character structure devoid of solidity appearing more absurd in nature. Whereas, the film plot appears less concrete or adapted and is more alluding, suggestive in nature and could have garnered impact throgh better execution .Though Godard efforts to explain the films thematic ideation through the incessant use of intertitles , which can be deemed significantly important in imparting his inference to the audience facilitating a better understanding and acceptance of the film as a personal alternative approach or a referential study . A subjective reconstruction based on the original play. A true enough Clearing and Loathing, Godard puts forth his personal cinematic take on the Classic. - Mona Lisa, Film and Psychedelic Music Critic ( Link http//:psychedelicsutra.blogspot.com )
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