Jane Campion’s the Piano Still Hits All The Right Notes
“Rereleased after 25 years, this literary work about a mute woman in 19th-century New Zealand remains full of extraordinary images and enigmas,” writes Peter Bradshaw in a review in The Guardian. Bradshaw gives The Piano five out of five stars.
“The re-release of Jane Campion’s mysterious film The Piano after 25 years is a chance to taste again its fetishism and voyeurism, its strange story of sexuality denied and displaced. It is also about the gravitational pull of death,” writes Bradshaw.
“I once found something over-literary in this film,” writes Bradshaw. “But a second viewing of The Piano allowed me to see how unique it is.”
“Maybe, above everything else, a re-evaluation of The Piano is about seeing how little of its backstory should be taken at face value.”
“And there is a fierce performance from Holly Hunter, whose face radiates intensity and enigma.”
“Hunter plays Ada, a 19th-century Scottish woman who has agreed to make the arduous journey to New Zealand to marry a colonist there: Alisdair Stewart” (Sam Neill).” She has brought along her infant Flora (Anna Paquin) and among the possessions that have to be brought on to the beach by near-mutinous Māori servants when she arrives is a baby grand piano.”
Ada is mute; her “piano is a vital form of self-expression.” Everything about Ada deeply disconcerts Alisdair, who declares that his servants cannot possibly transport this piano to their plantation.”
Baines (Harvey Keitel), “a man who affects Māori face markings takes it upon himself to rescue the piano” and later asks Alisdair if Ada can give him “lessons”. “In fact, Baines wants to watch her play, while in a state of progressive undress.” “His sexual obsession with her is soon requited, but the piano itself becomes a fetish, an occult symbol, generating the music of their secret love,” writes Bradshaw.
Article Source: The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw, June 15, 2018
Image Source: Youtube