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Film or Play - Movie Review Example

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As a loose adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Paul Mazursky has reinvented Prospero as a renowned architect in New York facing a mid-life crisis. While he is struggling with his successful yet unfulfilling career, his wife Antonia (alluding to Prospero’s brother…
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Film or Play Review
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Download file to see previous pages... In order to avoid Antonia and Alonzo, he proceeds to create his own kingdom in a remote island in Greek with Miranda, Aretha, his mistress, and Kalibanos, a goat herder and the only inhabitant on the island before Philip arrives. On this magical island with surreally beautiful scenery, the obsession of Philip unfolds. His exercise of power affects the agency of characters who are already marginalized by their race, gender, and social status. In addition, Philip’s character also serves as a critique of an upper-middle class male who occupies a high social status but is oppressed by people who possess even more wealth and social capital that him.
Unlike Shakespeare’s Prospero, the protagonist of the film Philip, performed by John Cassavetes is portrayed as a miserable middle-aged man who is tired of his career and social life. On the other hand, his employer Alonzo is extremely upbeat and ambitious, even though he appears to be much older than Philip. Instead of having an Antonio figure in the film to rebel against the protagonist, Mazursky chooses to transform that character into Antonia. This is an interesting move that will affect the audience’s feeling towards Philip as Antonia is a loyal but frustrated wife instead of an antagonistic character, the audience is less likely to be sympathetic towards Philip. Antonia’s hair style and clothing highlights her confidence and femininity, which seems to intimidate Philip. Another interesting female character in the film is Aretha, the Ariel figure in Shakespeare’s original play. She dons an airy white and half transparent gown throughout the whole movie, complementing the serenity of the island. Here Mazursky once again plays on the idea of masculinity and femininity. Philip explicitly refuses to have sex with Aretha without explaining the reason. It seems that Philip remains insecure about his power as a man after being oppressed and cheated respectively by Alonzo ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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