In an insane asylum, Marquis de Sade directs Jean Paul Marat's last days through a theater play. The actors are the patients.In an insane asylum, Marquis de Sade directs Jean Paul Marat's last days through a theater play. The actors are the patients.In an insane asylum, Marquis de Sade directs Jean Paul Marat's last days through a theater play. The actors are the patients.
expertly portrayed characters from the asylum at Charenton
I was hooked on this movie the minute I laid eyes upon it... bought the video and meticulously transcribed every word onto my copy of a transcript. I found the Shakespearean troupe to be excellent in their portrayals of madmen performing a play. The French Revolution being the main theme, echoed by various inmates' views of it, as well as several forays into philosophical thinking of man's condition. Plenty of symbolism, hard to draw a line where reality ends and madness begins (is it history, the play, the actor, the character, the madman, the script, etc.). Bears repeated watchings well, if one is interested in terrific character portrayal, philosophy, history, mental illness in general, etc. Asks that you pay close attention at all times, however... some of the extended debates between De Sade and Marat are absolutely riveting to watch. The interplay of several levels of perception is fascinating, and the overall effect is definitely one of a real insane asylum, disturbingly so at times. There is much humour here as well, again on multiple levels... this is definitely an intellectual movie, a thinking man's movie... all action takes place in the single bathouse of the asylum. Many aspects both of history and the philosophies of revolutionary leaders and their antagonists are explored. Highly recommended watching.
- Mar 4, 2000
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