Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Whoever you are, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers. - Blanche DuBois in 'A Streetcar Named Desire'

Suddenly a thought crossed my mind, that there is a parallel between "Breakfast at Tiffany’s' and 'A Streetcar Named Desire'.
Both represent women who are fragile and do not know what they want in life. Also both of them share a troubled marital life and have run far away from it.
But that is where the similarity ends.

When the film opens, Blanche DuBois(Vivien Leigh)is visiting her sister, Stella and her husband Stanley(Marlon Brando) in New Orleans. The real intent of the visit is that Blanche could not keep up their family home in Laurel, Mississippi and having lost her job has come to stay with her sister.

Blanche is forlorn and desires everything that she has lost forever - youth, riches, suitors and lives in an elusive world of her own.
Although her sister lives in a working class neighborhood, Blanche attracts the attention of Stanley's friend, Mitch by lying about her age and interests.
Stanley (a very hot Marlon Brando), is another interesting character - dominating, violent, full of animal sensualities. He and Blanche are at loggerheads always. Stanley does not like Blanche's pretentious behavior and tries to insult her in every possible way. He digs into her past and learns that she has been dismissed from her job as a schoolteacher because of her promiscuous behaviour.He makes sure Mitch learns the truth about Blanche and breaks Blanche's hopes.

Viven Leigh was supposedly going through a mental breakdown herself during the making of this film, so to play Blanche, who likes to live in the world of unfulfilled dreams until she forgets to differentiate the real world, seems to have come easily to Leigh.
It is tragic to see that Blanche had to be finally instuitionalized for something that was really not her fault.

'A Streetcar Named Desire', is once again based on the works of my favorite playwright, Tennesse Williams.
You must watch it just for Marlon Brando , who had never seemed more handsome than he was in this movie.If you don't believe me, here is one of the posters of him, you wouldn't believe he is the same old man in Godfather and Apocalypse Now!

1 comment:

Arvind Swarup Pathiki said...

haven't you once already written about this movie in your site? or may be a few years back you quoted the same line about depending on the kindness of strangers in some other context in the same site?

has Marlon Brando ever looked this good before or after?