The Crucible: Air of Hysteria and Paranoia
The Crucible (1996) is a drama-film adaptation directed by Nicholas Hytner. The cast of the movie involves a myriad of performers such as Daniel Day Lewis and Winona Ryder. Derived from the play by American playwright Arthur Miller, many plots and concepts from the film are identical to the original work. The Crucible is based on true stories about the witch trials held in Salem, Massachusetts. During this time period, witchcraft was socially unacceptable and many who believed or thought to have practiced it would be punished by execution. The movie opens up in the year of 1692 in Salem, a community heavily committed to religion. The opening scene shows a seemingly harmless event - a group of unnamed adolescent girls are secretly gathered around a boiling pot over by a young Barbadian woman Tituba, who conjures voodoo-like love spells on young men of the village. When local minister Reverend Parris discovers the group’s ceremony, particularly Abigail Williams who is caught red handed smeared in blood, two of the girls subsequently fall into a coma and witchcraft is immediately suspected. In order to save themselves from any consequences, Abigail and the girls blame their past behaviors on the devil and claim to be bewitched by the townspeople of Salem which causes further commotion. Drawn into the process are John Proctor and his wife Elizabeth. However, Abigail, who has been blinded by her love for John Proctor, decides this was the perfect opportunity to get rid of his wife. After a series of trials and testimonies, it is clearly evident that The Crucible revolves around a central theme – the idea of justice can easily be taken advantage of with the power of controlling fear,
Although Arthur Miller’s play is thematically rich, the movie form would not have been as interesting if not for the actors and actresses who accurately represented the characters as members of the community who were widely affected by...
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