The Piano

I felt a forceful dislike for The Piano grow within me as I watched it. An overwhelming, passionate hatred. Ostensibly a tale of repression, desire and ultimately love it is in reality an unsavory depiction of a love triangle populated at each corner by a person with, at least, severe mental problems, and more likely acute psychosis. One cannot honestly give a synopsis of the film, such is its downright preposterousness, needless to say it focusses on Ada, voluntarily mute, her violent husband through arranged marriage, and the illiterate man next door. In the center of this foolish trifecta is the piano. Set in a wet, muddy New Zealand wilderness the only aspect of the film which works is the juxtaposition of the ridiculous, inane, pompous, hateful whites with the native Maori, who, though showing signs of assimilation have retained a wisdom and honesty that marks them as the only truly likable characters in the film. We learn at the outset that even Ada herself doesn’t know why she is mute, aside from the fact that the film would ultimately not work if she chose to speak (or indeed, if George, the neighbor could read). Herein lies a problem which is indicative of the film as a whole, it relies fundamentally on its main characters simply deciding to not only do frankly reprehensible things, but also to carry them out in ways which would never occur to any normal person. One supposes this is the point, this, it seems is what love or sex, or lack of sex, or lack of love does to a person. But what are we if we are not perpetually not in love, or in love, or having sex, or not having sex. And yet somehow one makes it through entire days without doing unexpectedly deranged things to those around me and myself. One could argue that perhaps it is though that one is simply not passionate, or repressed enough, one however must then disregard the passion with which I dislike the Piano.

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