|Who on earth is Matt Gerson?|
The Crucible is prejudice unhinged, a foggy and dank-lit, dreary yet overwhelmingly-acted parade of frantic hidden poses by witchcraft-dabbling innocents who fill the cauldron of a black magic practitioner with keepsakes of their intended men, then spend the rest of the movie shifting blame by starting a hunt for the evil spirits that made them do it, often, as in Abigail's case, bearing false witness on the obstacles of the path to their passion and men they crave.
Bruce Davison is twisted, inept and a man of the cloth who soils his soul and station as Reverend Paris, a man who knows too much about the true source of the witches but turns his eye away to the truth, as false accusation parades its bloody path in the kangaroo courts and the hangman's noose awaits all those who won't admit their pact with Satan, sleeping dogs now up at the throat of anyone who tries to spot these girls and devils for the devil's handmaiden that they collectively are.
The solemn, grim Joan Allen is superb as the repressed, self-hating wife of John Proctor, and the yellow and bearded, scraggly, unhealthy image of Proctor, the indicted by a spurned lover's treachery, is played with noble countenance and fiery rages and uprightness by Daniel Day-Lewis, who can grab us with his searching gazes and solemn sense of injustice embodied in his presence in this no-nonsense portrayal of a man with a guilty secret Abigail won't let him forget, ever.
Paul Scofield, who won an Oscar for The [sic] Man for All Seasons, playing a noble man, here plays a righteous paragon who turns ugly and sinister and dirty and foul as the judge who oversees the Salem Witch Trials, which The Crucible is based on, with the iron hands of oppression that all are guilty and none shall escape and to hell with the morale and terror I cause, unflinching pose of the confessor who makes the rope and the false witness the law of the smoking with misty oppresssion and unhinged destruction village of Salem and its witch trials which have come down through history as embodying religious hysteria.
His show trials and easy condemnations and lack of truth searching and reality make him the precursor of Nazi show trials centuries later.
Mary Warren, the honest child, who loses out to terror and threats by the she-devil Abigail, is played with unending gripping power by Karen Graves, as the final betrayer of John Proctor.
She's the last good soul who turns her life into lies to escape vengeance from the witches and cast guilt elsewhere.
As with the entire cast, from officers of the church to hellfire of death for the coven of guilty girls, The Crucible is mesmerizing from start to finish, with its frenzied sense of what it takes and how easy it is to condemn to innocent and shame the guiltless and engage the vile passions of fear into fingering the innocent of nameless commandments, all in the name of shifting blame, and so begin a boiling pit of destruction and murder sanctified by church law and God.
So the leaders in the swayed mob of callous colonials, brought to too-easy mad taste of blood, too close to mankind to be ignored, nipping at our heels in The Crucible with the twin vices of lust and betrayal and false witness awaiting the next witch hunt.
What mankind must know is that as long as hatred and falsehood exist in the breast and belly of women and men, mankind will be instant victimizers when fear and holiness run wild.
Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Scofield for sure should garner Oscar nominations for resolute victim and steely-eyed would-be overstepping in bigotry and insanity of condemnation of authority.
The Crucible is a perfect expression of anguish and terror, unstoppable in its energy, when the masses' hysteria is lit and the church and state encourage it.
I'm Matt Gerson with my five magic Angle recommendation out of five for The Crucible.
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|No way, this guy scares me! Take me back to||Deuce|