Saturday, 9 May 2015

Lord of the Flies [1963]

Peter Brook’s largely faithful interpretation of William Golding’s classic novel of the same name, viz. Lord of the Flies, was a dreary and allegorical tale that emphasized upon an intrinsic and ironic dichotomy in human behavior – the want for order and the desire for anarchy. Featuring only pre-pubescent kids to drive home the point, they represented human instincts closer to their primitive states, before the process of acculturation has completely set in. Upon an airplane accident, a motley group of all-male school kids gets stranded in an unknown and uninhabited island in the middle of nowhere. The crisis scenario of a group of cocooned individuals suddenly placed in the wilderness having to fend for themselves bring forth their survival instincts, exacerbated by the animal impulses of chaos, lust for power and propensity for violence. The film starts with the benevolent and level-headed Ralph (James Aubrey) being identified as the ring leader for the group. However, the aggressive and power-crazy Jack (Tom Chapin), serving as the lead hunter, has plans for a forced disruption of the power structure based on brute strength and brazen aggression. He and his gang of blinded sycophants begin by tormenting Ralphs’s loyal, intelligent, sensible, didactic, asthmatic and bespectacled sidekick Piggy (Hugh Edwards), but gradually things start taking a more sinister turn, and before long they go completely awry and messy, until a forced restoration of balance takes place through external intervention. The transition from innocence and uncertainty to wild hedonism and lunacy was captured through a naturalistic, documentary-like style and manner, and this ensured that the themes do not become too overhanded and in-your-face, while retaining the ability to provoke and disturb.

Director: Peter Brook
Genre: Drama/Adventure
Language: English
Country: UK

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