When you’re familiar with the source material, it’s hard not to judge the adaptation more than its actual content.
Welcome to my dilemma with Luce. Despite its compelling — and #Relevant — premise, the execution pales in comparison to the play. Like most stage-to-big-screen translations, the movie blows out the conversations and events, since the narrative no longer must come to believable life within the confines of a proscenium. But removing it from this intrinsically-theatrical setting, and striving for a naturalistic aesthetic in front of the camera, amplifies how contrived the set-up feels, i.e. “like a movie.”
The play’s intrigue relies on its refusal to show us the action around which the plot revolves. Instead, we spend most of the time watching the characters discuss them afterwards, an approach that digs into thematic territory by asking how much we can really know about someone based on our inherently-finite, incomplete interactions with them. Who they are to us may not be who they are to everyone, so is everything he-said, she-said, they-said subjectivity?
But even when you’re not familiar with the source material, sometimes it’s still obvious when something’s been…lost in translation.
Exhibit Infinity: Where’d You Go, Bernadette — which we shall discuss on Monday!