Starring: Marlon Brando, Vivien Leigh, Karl Malden
Director: Elia Kazan
This is one of those movie I really wasn't looking forward to. I kept putting off this movie when I rented it twice! I will admit that I had really no clue as to what the movie is about. I just know most of Tennessee Williams' plays are full of depressing characters who I have no interest in finding out what happens to them. But this movie adaptation is considered a classic and despite the great performances, I couldn't help myself but start browsing the web on Maggie's pink laptop during the next hour. It was dull and utterly depressing.
Blanche DuBois moves in with her sister in New Orleans, trying to escape her dark past. But this only ends up becoming a nightmare for Blanche as her brutish brother-in-law torments her and she slowly starts to lose her mind. It's a pretty depressing tale that I couldn't find myself getting into. I didn't care about any of the characters because I just didn't understand any of their motivations. I get that Blanche is a bit disturbed and it's says a lot about the times because she really just needs some support, but no one wants to help. It's just a movie where I don't get it: I don't get Stanley and Stella's relationship, nor do I sympathise with Blanche at all. Part of me feels like Stanley when Blanche starts to dither on about her fantasies - I just wanted to shake her and tell her to shut up and find a job! C'mon!
Apart from the horrible plot that had me falling asleep, the acting was good. Brando is good at playing the tough guy and here it's no different. Stanley to me, is a caricature of a drunken slob, but Brando manages to make it more that that - I feel like Stanley has his own issues but we're not privy to. And Vivien Leigh knows how to play demented. I felt completely awkward during that famous scene where she's tries to seduce the paperboy. It's utterly squeamish and that's mostly due to her performance.
The movie back in the day was censored dramatically but I watched the restored version where there's a clear indication of rape and references to Blanche's dead husband as being gay. It's quite remarkable to think how far we've come because all these censored scenes are considered to be PG now. Not gonna lie, I was reading the wikipedia article while watching the movie (sooo boring!) and thought the article was way more interesting. So I'm gonna just let y'all know that I didn't like this movie and that I wouldn't recommend it, unless you have a thing for mental disorders, Brando in a wife beater or hot paperboy lip action.