For years I had been hearing of and reading about how great a performance the greatest American actor gave in one of the greatest movies ever made. And about how wonderfully Brando yelled “Stella!, Stella!”. And, of course, about The Method. No wonder I wanted to see the movie as soon as I could. But it took a lot of time. Why? No, no, I shouldn’t digress. I will keep the focus. Back to the streetcar.
I am not really unaware of what different kinds of people consider great art. I rarely considered watching movies a waste of time, even at the time of the most crucial exams, which can make or break of your career. Career was not a big deal for me.
Dgrshn gt bk 2 bzns!
Yes, back to business. What was my impression of the movie before I finally saw it? Well, it so happened that I had never read a real review about the movie. Only articles about how great was Brando yelling “Stella!, Stella!” in this movie and how he revolutionized acting (I could barely make out that what was supposed to be revolutionized was actually American acting. The Method was imported from Russia). Since I didn’t know the story, I thought Brando had a kind of role which he played in “On the Waterfront” or may be like the one he played in “The Godfather” (the two Brando movies I had seen). Or may be even like the roles which his artistic descendant De Nero played in “Taxi Driver”. I mean a kind of role with some element of (presumed) heroism, even if (presumed) anti-heroism. And brooding. A character with whom one could at least partly identify.
To be honest, right in the first few minutes, I was puzzled, then felt kind of cheated, and by the end of the first half of the movie, understood what was happening. But the feeling of being cheated remained. I understood what the movie was about alright, but I still fail to understand what was so great (I mean greater than many other things in the movie) about the shout “Stella!, Stella!”.
What had happened was that all the hype about Brando’s great performance (it was great) and about The Method (there was a method) and The Yell (that was great too) hid everything that the movie was really about. This is why, even though the hype had a solid basis, I continue to feel cheated.
Wt ws d moo v abt n e ways?
Let me get things ordered. Wait for the next post. (Actually, let me rest. Not used to this kind of work.). Better than digressing. Isn’t it?