Thursday, 3 April 2014

Closer by Patrick Marber

by Patrick Marber

Summary: In Closer, Patrick Marber has created a brilliant exploration into the brutal anatomy of modern romance, where a quartet of strangers meet, fall in love, and become caught up in a web of sexual desire and betrayal. 
So, I don't normally review plays on here (I think A Midsummer Night's Dream has been the only one?) but I wanted to review this one. Partly because I've not posted a review in a few weeks, and partly because I just really like this play.

I saw the movie adaptation first and I've been meaning to read the play for ages. I'm really glad I finally got round to it. The  movie is great and it is a very faithful adaptation--most of the dialogue is word for word, they don't change much at all.

But, there's a few scenes in the play that were left out of the movie and a couple that have altered slightly (for
example, I think there was a scene in the play that happened between Alice and Anna near the end but in the movie it happens earlier, between Alice and Dan). The ending of the movie is slightly different too--more optimistic, I guess but not necessarily different, it's more...leaving it up to the viewer to decide what happens next.

These changes didn't make it bad, but reading the play definitely makes you understand the characters a little more and their relationships--particularly Alice and Larry (both as individuals and their relationship with each other).

So far this review has been more of a comparison between the play and the movie, so I'll get onto why I like the play:
  • None of the characters are particularly likeable. They're all incredibly flawed, their relationships are unhealthy and destructive...they all have their issues. And that may sound like an odd reason to like it, but it was interesting.
  • I particularly like that it didn't become a story about redemption or them learning from their mistakes. In stories like this, that's usually the path it takes--the characters growing, getting better, but this one didn't try to do that. It was more...revealing their flaws, instead of trying to fix them (which would've maybe been frustrating to read in a novel, but because it was a play it worked well).
  • I really loved the language. There's some lines, some conversations, that I just adore. Like these ones:

    And, there's some lines from the play that have been used in songs too:
  • "He tastes like you, only sweeter." (used by Fall Out Boy in Thnks fr the Mmrs)
  • "I love everything about you that hurts." (used by Fall Out Boy in G.I.N.A.S.F.S)
  • Panic! At the Disco used "Lying is the most fun a girl can have without taking her clothes off" and "But it's better if you do" as titles for two of their songs:

Anyway, if you like the movie, I suggest reading the play. If you've not seen the movie, then go watch it and then read the play (I really recommend watching the movie first, because the ending is more satisfying that way). Even if plays aren't normally your sort of thing, maybe give this a chance, I'm not really a reader of plays but it worked for me. I'd rate it 4 out of 5 stars.


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