The Hollywood adaption of the Tennessee Williams’ ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ is a cinematic masterpiece. The BFI’s choice to revive this classic in its original form provides more depth to character dynamics and a sexually charged experience; revealing a better understanding of the explosive subtleties between Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando and Kim Hunter.
Those familiar with screenplay and filmography will know of the moral obligations Hollywood imposed on itself in its origin back in the 1930’s. It was for this purpose, and of course the social acceptance of movies that had this film edited to reduce the more sexually provocative nature, much to the dismay of Director Elia Kazan.
The intensity of emotional, psychological and physical abuse is thought provoking as we consider them relevant for relationships in 2020. How much have we really changed? Observe the expectations of society imposed upon Blanche DuBois (Vivien Leigh) combined with the stereotyped masculine aggressiveness of Stanley Kowalski (Marlon Brando). The abusive relationship between Stella Kowalski(Kim Hunter) and her husband Stanley further identifies a growing trend in threatening behaviour that ultimately leads to the diminished and destroyed Blanche DuBois.
Do not let the original release date or the fact that it is a black and white film put you off. This film employs much skill in mise-en-scene and instigated a whole era of method acting. It will take one to consider whether millennials will be able to understand it’s complexities or wonder how this was achieved without CGI. Whether you’re a fan of Marlon Brando mincing his dialogue or Vivien Leigh playing her femme fatale damsel, this film will not disappoint.
Catch the film this month: