Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The Notebook.

The Notebook, My Sisters' Keeper, and PS I Love You- Three films built up to be extrodinarilly tear-jerking by my peers, therefore placing them all on my 'to watch' list. With P.S I love you I found it difficult to relate, having never really suffered the death of a loved one. Therefore perhaps it should be the job of someone who has to comment on the film more accurately. However, teenage heartbreak is something that I have felt, and therefore found The Notebook to fit and exceed this 'tear jerking' criteria.

The film encompassed elements of my own experiences, and I'm sure the experiences of many other teenagers, as well as elements of what I dream that I could experience. The feeling of struggle to be with someone you love, whilst fighting with the reality that your age makes it difficult to put a mark on what exactly this love means. Therefore, I don't want to naively overestimate my own experiences and claim that I ever 'found my soulmate' or a 'reason to live'; though equally as much I don't want to undermine the true power of young love and the strength of the emotions you can feel. This is exactly what the film does, and left me jerking-those-tears through the majority of the film.

Aside from the idea of teen-romance, the film looks into other emotional issues and struggles. It takes an interesting form, of which the story of the lovers at a young age is paralleled with those same lovers at the age of retirement. However, whereas early on their struggles come from social expectations, parental influence, or need for stability, subsequently the tragedy comes from Allies suffering of dementure; and therefore Noah's emotional suffering to keep them together.

The emotional potential of the storyline gives credit to the origional novelist Nicholas Sparks, though I feel the emotional investment comes from the portrayal of the characters through the acting.Young Allie (Rachel Mcadams) comes across as the passionate, attractive and playful girl that i'm assuming any teenage girl aspires to be. Young Noah (Ryan Gosling) similarly plays a passionate, attractive and incredibly considerate boy that i'm sure any young girl aspires to have. In the ending of the play, an equally as heart-warming relationship is presented in the old-age couple (James Garner and Jena Rowlands), encompassing a love that anyone with a sane mind would strive for.

The film left me feeling a multitude of emotions, including resentment for allowing myself, usually so synical, to become so emotional. It left me feeling the pain of the couples struggles, heart-warmed for their inseperability, and hopeful that this is not an experience left only to the world of cinema.

Ultimately, the film left me with an undeniable aspiration- in that all I want to do with the rest of my life is to fall in love. A good career, social life, and self confidence will just be those menial things that I do on my quest to find it.

And now all I have left to do is watch My Sister's Keeper.

Woyzeck Puppet Performance.

'Woyzeck'- An ambiguous play from an ambiguous context, giving a potential director creative freedom to interpret it how they wish. The director(s) of tonights performance chose the setting of apartheid South Africa, and used puppets to tell the sorrowful and tragic tale of a man's demise towards killing his partner.

Woyzeck, the main character, has the potential to appear as the antagonist of the play. However in this setting of injustice and inequality it is difficult to percieve him to be anything other than a victim of society (and perhaps a victim of mental illness also). The actors behind the puppets manage to bring to life the characters and bring out the raw emotion behind the conflicts; of which the text alone can not achieve, in my opinion, as effectively. Here we see Woyzeck as a man struggling to keep his life in order and his family together, rather than what I had previously percieved as a dismissive partner too wrapped up in his own mindset that he is lead to murder; this ultimate act being a contrast with the empathy obtained throughout for this socially and mentally oppressed character.

Aside from the general storyline, this production effectively demonstrated the technical and physical capeabilities of the actors in captivating movements, these skills somewhat undermined by the realism of the puppets. It was difficult to consider that they weren't characters in their own right, but rather controlled by the strong vocals and movements of the actors. I feel the use of puppetry was an interesting interpretation on the play as it allowed a large element of charactature to be added. The scientist for example appropriately engulfed the stereotype of a mad scientist, particularly through the use of voice giving the character a disturbance and villanous edge.

Another aspect I felt to be highly effective and unique was the staging, main aspect of which being the use of projection. It was as though the screen acted as a portal into Woyzecks mentality, using both intricate and expressive chalk drawings to give a visually captivating and somewhat hypnotic interpretation of a man's psychological struggle. The imagery behind the whole production was incredible, allowing the audience to be completely engulfed into the world of the characters and invest in their lives; which is an incredible achievement considering the characters were clearly inhuman.