Review:Through A Glass Darkly

Posted: June 14, 2010 in Uncategorized
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The  most influential and accomplished artist of all time Ernst Ingmar Bergman’s  Oscar winning movie “Through a Glass Darkly” has been  adapted  for the stage  by Jenny Worton  and is now at the  Almeida Theatre  starring  Ruth Wilson. The play which is directed by Michael Attenborough will be shown until 31st July 2010.

Karin(Ruth Wilson) and her brother Maxi( Dimitri Leonidas) in Through A Glass Darkly at Almeida Theatre.

Through A Glass Darkly  is based on the schizophrenic  young woman  Karin (Ruth Wilson) ‘s   unbearable anguish  in search of God and love  and her fragilely  tied  family’s effort to help her  fight on the first day of their vacation on a lonely Swedish Island . Bergman  analyzes the  characters  and exposes their pain over a period of  24 hours  and  keeps the audiences  ont he edge of their seats.

Karin lives for her family, even  little things like an  argument between her father  and brother  keeps her awake all night and she hears voices and follows them to go to  her second world where she is happier. Her selfish  father  David (Ian McElhinney),who  is a second-rate novelist ,tries to make himself feel  better by taking  a vacation with his children and giving them  cheap  presents after  ignoring them for years. He spends  hours on writing and secretly feels guilty for neglecting his family  but still  insensitive enough to use Karin’s battle against schizophrenia  as the  subject of  his new novel. He  thinks that he is looking for the meaning of life.

Her doctor husband  Martin (Justin Salinger)who insincerely  tries every way to help her get better but is  never able to make Karin believe that  he is genuine. In a scene when they are about to go to bed  Karin tells her husband : “You tell all the right words but it still  sounds wrong and irritating.” He gets sexually refused by Karin which makes him feel  that he is impotent.

Maxi  (Dimitri Leonidas)is Karin’s brother who is too young to understand  all the schizophrenic episodes of his sister whom he is sexually attracted to. He is an artistic boy who writes a play  that  he has written  his fears over  his father ‘s  recent relationship with a bossy woman .Mazi’s  father does not  pay attention to the  play at all.16 years old boy   is also going through adolescent sexual  crisis.He masturbates by  looking at  porn magazines and gets caught by Karin and they laugh at the situation together sometimes.

On the gray stage, none of the characters are happy and not really connected to each other as a family .Karin escapes to her second world where everybody is waiting to see God  whenever she is not happy in the real world. The play ends with her big schizophrenic episode  and all the voices tell her that she will see God this time. However she can’t ,as  she is told that she  does not know how to love. Karin decides to live  in her second world and goes to hospital in  a helicopter  with Martin leaving Maxi  in fears.

David tells his scared son Maxi , who thinks  that he can not  survive : “You need to have something to hold on to ,to survive which is love.” and curtains close.

Bergman was inspired by a line in the Bible when he created  Through A Glass Darkly which suggests that as long as we live we are unable to see the true Nature of God.


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