The Crucible: From Play to Movie
Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible was adapted into a film premiered in 1996. Miller dramatizes the Salem witchcraft trials in the 1600s. When Abigail Williams (Winona Ryder) and a group of girls begin to accuse people of practicing witchcraft, the town goes into hysteria. Abigail has an affair with John Proctor (Daniel Day-Lewis) and accuses his wife Elizabeth (Joan Allen) in an attempt to get rid of her. But Proctor seeks to prove that the girls are lying. Throughout the movie, themes of superstition and envy are clearly present.
I was pleasantly surprised that the movie stayed true to the original play, and the story was easy to follow. I applaud the cast for representing their characters how I imagined they would. Winona Ryder was very believable as she portrayed Abigail. I hated her in the book, and I immediately felt the same way once she appeared. I envisioned John Proctor to look a bit differently; maybe not so disheveled. Daniel Day-Lewis successfully showed the harsh, straight-forward side of Proctor as well as the insanity that came out of his anger before his death. I also thought Joan Allen did well as she portrayed an innocent but outspoken Elizabeth. The actors of Danforth, Parris, Hale, Mary Warren, Tituba, Betty, Rebecca Nurse, and Hathorne all gave a sound performance although during some scenes stronger emotions could have been brought out. Nicholas Hytner, the director, did well to keep the events in a way that could be understood even if the book wasn’t read prior to watching the movie. The setting and attire was also convincing. Personally I thought it did the book justice but more passion from the actors could have made it even better.
Overall, this version of the play was executed well. I honestly prefer a movie with humor and a happy ending, so the ending was painful to watch. However, it was necessary. I always prefer reading the book before the movie since it gives you the background and important...
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