By Sam Moore (Hendersonville, North Carolina, USA)
The Crucible is about a village in 17th century America plagued with a fear of witches. Salem, Massachusetts was a rather gossipy Puritan village. It started with girls dancing in the forest, and the local Reverend finding them, singing in native Barbadosian languages. This started the rumor of witchcraft, especially after the Reverend’s child fell ill afterwards. This rumor of witchcraft was later confirmed by the village girls. A good man of the village, John Proctor, does not believe that the pure people being put to trial are actually witches. After his own wife is arrested on a false claim of witchery, he comes forward to shed light on the truth of these events. After being accused of being a witch shortly after by his servant Mary Warren, his fate would soon lay in the hands of the court.
The movie represents the play rather well; it is amazingly done. Though some things are out of order, it gives it a more dynamic feel to it, as well as a more real feel. The directors and actors were amazing at nailing each scene they made. The directors did not play with the lines, either. I heard word for word the lines I heard, from John Proctor sweating like a stallion, to Elizabeth Proctor saying she’d get flowers for her husband. It fit the mood the play set perfectly. Though, they did add lines and movements from house to house, which only made the movie feel more interesting, and I only heard parts of certain lines as it followed a different character that left the scene. I do believe that they stayed amazingly close to the play, since they did include every line said. Arthur Miller would be proud, if he saw it.
In my opinion, The Crucible was amazing. Every part added to the tension. You could hear the emotion in the words of the actors, and see it in the faces as well. As I said before, the mood was set and it rose and settled in intensity, giving you waves of tension and suspense before it calmed, like a passing storm at sea. I do like how they added parts; it did not take away from the story and was very linear with the plotline. If they moved lines around, it was to make it feel more real. The mood felt right for each line, each yell and slap. The lighting also fit, falling on the characters nicely as they worked, spoked, and pushed each other to the ground. The setting was wonderful as well; very simple just as they had it back in the 1600s.
The emotion was very prominent in the actors; they obviously learned their part well and got familiar with who they were. The Bible verses and small after-words at the end made a wonderful impact. It broke my heart; watching the characters hand and listening to Reverend Parris cry. The characters were the same as how they were expressed in the play. It felt as if I could reach out and touch Abigail’s hair, or Reverend Hale’s books.