A Streetcar Named Desire
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A Streetcar Named Desire
A Streetcar Named Desire, written by Tennessee Williams, was first staged in 1947. It became his first production to be turned into the movie due to its emotional plot and superb actors. The play was a huge success. The detailed analysis of the film and the play reveals some differences and similarities between both. Just as the play won several awards, the movie was also a big hit on the screen and won several awards.
The play and movie share a lot of similarities. The film retained the original spirit of the play, and William’s personality dominates the movie. The similarity was found in the actors and crew of movie and play. Only the Jessica Tandy was missing from original Broadway production of the film. Marlon Brando builds his interpretation of Stanley by going to the gym and building biceps. Brando added more sexuality to the role.
The plot and words are almost identical with few exceptions. The plot follows the structure of the play. Kazan tried to stay closer to the original production. The depressing narrowness of Kowalski apartment was transferred to the screen using the trick. The scenery also appears to be the same as one defined in the stage directions of play. The original language of the play as tone down to be able to get by censors. The rape scene of Blanche was almost cut, but Kazan later emphasized its importance. Most of the play is all set in Kowalski’s apartment. The director of the movie tried to add the same feeling in each scene by bringing the walls closer. However, the bowling alley is only referred to in the play, but in the movie, it was actually visible. The director and actress were successful in any aspect of the movie. Blanche was portrayed to have lack of individual personality and immense mental complexity. However, Blanche’s character required more depth which was not there in the movie.
The resolution difference was found between the play and the film. Blanche in the film leaves to go to an asylum while Stella is standing with her outside. Stanley calls for Stella upstairs, but she runs and says that she will never come back. At the end of the play, Stella is found packing Blanche's bag as she is about to leave for asylum. She cries out loud as Blanche leaves and then Stanley comes back to the room to cool down her. In addition to the other differences, structural differences were also found. According to some critics, the movie did not meet William's intent to mention each and every detail to convey the message of the play. A few scenes were hanged such as Blanche's flirting scene. The play's setting was also very strong that could not be easily captured on stage.
The movie takes its audience to the places only referred to in the play and some of them even not revealed at all. For instance the pier of dance casino where Mitch gets to know about Blanche’s husband death. Another change in location shows Mitch’s shock and doubt when Blanche reveals about her shady past in factory. In the beginning, the movie slightly deviated from the play in the scene of Blanche stepping out of the steam cloud. However, in the play, the most unspectacular entry of Stanley is seen. At the time of movie, the directors and producers had to be careful in the expression of sex and violence.
In a nutshell, the movie and play both were very successful and got rewards for their excellent depiction of family roles and obligations. Kazan had to follow the censor requests in the film but at the end of the day the filmmakers had to live the controversial material which was embedded in the film with a clever trick.
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