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.
The annual British Hairdressing Championship comes to Keighley, a town where Phil, and son, Brian, run a barbershop and Phil's ex-wife, Shelly, and her lover, Sandra, run a beauty salon. ... See full summary »
After some years of tension, Richard begins a sexual relationship with his sister Natalie, who is now married. The relationship between Richard and Natalie proves dangerously obsessional. ... See full summary »
Rupert, a ten year old boy, falls hopelessly in love for the first time. When it all goes terribly wrong, he wishes never to experience heartache again. Turning to a book of magic, he invokes a spell to shield him from emotion forever.
This is a filmed play; one must judge it as such. Minghella's rapid reaction camera takes the place of stage direction for a spotlight. But that's about it. The full 16 minutes (8 mins of script with the instruction to repeat) are played out with little intervention from the director, save cutting or inter-focusing between the three talking heads and mixing head-shot with super-closeup.
The three characters live out a collapsing love-triangle. Is it happening now? Are they living over what has already happened? Is this a dramatised overview of what always happens? These are all valid questions as the script is delivered, overlapping, at barely digestible speed. Juliet Stevenson (the mistress) is the most interesting, allowed a full expressive range throughout her role, including a flash-dispatched orgasm. Most hilarious is Rickman's man-at-the-centre (literally as well) who retreats into talk of tea when he's not got the hiccups - an important element, this impediment, as it has the same worth of content given the monotone delivery. Kristin Scott-Thomas' trademark 'disinterest' makes up the trio.
I like Minghella's top-n-tail affectation of the rushes cards, which brings into relief the 'play' suggestion of the title. Is this a record of the consequential comeuppance coming for the characters? Or is it simply as valid a circumstance as the next for working out the old rite of cheating relations? 6/10
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