Hamm is blind and unable to stand; Clov, his servant, is unable to sit; Nagg and Nell are his father and mother, who are legless and live in dustbins. Together they live in a room with two windows, but there may be nothing at all outside.

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Storyline

Hamm and his parents, Nagg and Nell, live neccessarily sedentary lives while Clov cannot stop moving and gets them things, or offers to get them when they are not there to get. Clov wants to leave after Nagg and Nell die, but apparently there is nowhere to leave to. Written by Scott Andrew Hutchins <scottandrewh@home.com>

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21 July 2003 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Beckett: Leikin loppu  »

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Quotes

[first lines]
Clov: Finished, it's finished, nearly finished, it must be nearly finished. Grain upon grain, one by one, and one day, suddenly, there's a heap, a little heap, the impossible heap. I can't be punished any more. I'll go now to my kitchen, ten feet by ten feet by ten feet, and wait for him to whistle me. Nice dimensions, nice proportions, I'll lean on the table, and look at the wall, and wait for him to whistle me.
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Referenced in Head to Shrunken Head (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Beckett straight.
7 March 2001 | by (dublin, ireland) – See all my reviews

'Endgame' is often considered Beckett's masterpiece, arguably the greatest play of the 20th century. The musicality, companionship and lightness underpinning 'Waiting for Godot''s despair is replaced by claustrophobia; just as Vladimir and Estragon, kept alive by hope, are taken over by Hamm and Clov, bitter, maimed master and servant, waiting not for Godot, just the end.

The play's apocalyptic comedy, complete with parents kept in dustbins, is a chessgame about death; mental disintegration in a meaningless universe; an allegory for the theatre. There are never any escapes in Beckett's hells, just the knowledge that the grim winding down of a life will be deferred for tomorrow night's performance.

For me, the play is also an hilarious parody of the Anglo-Irish Big House story, with Hamm the cruel landlord, withering solitary as the Famine lashes outside, littered with the corpses he refused to help, always witholding that saving kind word, as we all do.

Director MacPherson is himself an acclaimed playwright, and surely sensitive to Beckett as theatre, not just the words which enthrall other filmmakers of his work. He shoots his film in the obtrusively unobtrusive style of a BBC schools educational video, with minimal cinematic flourish.


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