Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Review of "The Piano," DVD version

Review of

The Piano, DVD version

Five out of five stars

 This is one of the most original and unusual love stories ever put on film. Holly Hunter is Ada McGrath, a woman of English origin that travels with her daughter to New Zealand in an arranged marriage to a man also of English extraction. Ada is a mute and has a love for playing the piano, one is a component of the personal belongings she brings.

 Sam Neill plays Alisdair Stewart, the husband of the marriage and a man with no time for music, all he wants is a wife obedient to his wishes. Alisdair simply leaves the piano on the beach, an act that devastates Ada. Harvey Keitel plays George Baines, a native Maori that warms to Ada and her love for music. He has the piano transported to his residence, giving him the opportunity to be alone with Ada.

 At first, Ada resists George’s advances, but her love of the piano overwhelms all of her qualms and she becomes sexually intimate with George. This sets up a love triangle where Alisdair acts out the most brutal of what a husband could legally do to his wife. All of the players give superb performances, especially Hunter and Anna Paquin that plays daughter Flora McGrath. Ada’s intense love for playing the piano comes through very clear through facial expressions and body language.

 The viewer quickly finds themselves empathizing with Ada and antagonistic to Alisdair. There is the hope that somehow Ada and George will become a couple and the movie will end with Ada blissfully playing the piano. Not quite the ending. George’s fellow Maori provide a solid supporting role by providing people of Maori culture rather than more transported people of English extraction. This is a great movie, worthy of every award it received.

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