Read this post on MYSA here.
Read this on MYSA here.
Anthony Minghella uses startling symbolism to delve into the psyche of the complex characters in his 1999 film, The Talented Mr. Ripley. In the beginning of the scene Tom Ripley, played by Matt Damon, is sticky with sweat and out of breath. In the next scene, we are given a stark close up of Damon’s face through the window of a moving vehicle. The rain suggests a somber mood and the focus on Damon’s face implies he is deep into thought, contemplating the next move in the intricate game he is plotting. He soon startles Marge, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, while she is outside emerged in the working on her book. Her abrupt scream suggests that she has reason to fear the character of Tom; he is also dressed in the villainous shade of black in harsh contrast with Marge who is wearing light shades such as white and tan. Marge is also in the sitting relaxed at the table; on the contrary Tom is standing rigidly sending cryptic messages to Marge, including “I guess we’re abandoned.”
After 25 years of monotonously crunching numbers in a sunless, cramped office, Mr. Zero, who is expecting a promotion, is flightily dismissed from his dead-end job. Shocked and enraged, he murders his boss.
It sounds like an outlandish headline from any tabloid you’d see checking out at the grocery store, doesn’t it? Sorry to disappoint, but Mr. Zero’s story goes all the way back to the 1923 play by Elmer Rice entitled “The Adding Machine.”
The Many Numbers of the Adding Machine
Elmer Rice’s play, The Adding Machine, has been adapted into a musical produced by SpeakEasy Stage Company, directed by Paul Melone with original music by Joshua Schmidt and libretto by Jason Loewith and Joshua Schmidt.
In the first scene, the stage is virtually baron, consisting of just a metal-framed bed and two vacant wooden chairs. Zero arrives home from work, peaked, staring blankly at the floor as his wife attacks him—in song form.
Immediately you are uncomfortably thrust into the deteriorating relationship between Mr. and Mrs. Zero, forced to watch their bickering. In “Something To Be Proud Of” Mrs. Zero is pecking at her husband, cruelly stating “I was a fool for marrying you” in a shrill cry. As she gripes, her hand cuts through the air tense at her side up to her cheek demanding a kiss before he leaves for work, and he subserviently complies face unchanging. Her housewife-gone-wild screeching combined with his stoic face looked like an incident of domestic violence just waiting to happen.