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The Country House is a play written by Donald Margulies, who was born in 1954 and grew up in Trump Village. This film was made in the Berkshires, where Anna is performing at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. This lady is there to entertain Michael, her mother-in-law, Elliot, his handsome son, Walter, who married her late daughter, and his girlfriends Susie and Nell. The actors are grappling with art and with celebrities in their Berkshire home during the summer theater season of Williamstown. However, as the weekend's activities deviate from the plot, different mysteries are uncovered, and the ties between these characters are severed. This situation pressures an already fragile foundation of home overflowing with discarded dreams, new love as well as old memories. Otherwise, Donald’s work is largely filled with the content of grief and loss (Dolan 295).
The Explanation of Grief and Loss
Indeed, this movie is having elements of grief and loss as in the view of various actors who are portraying bitterness and regrets. In the start of the play, the actors comprise of jealous lovers, fighting families and hurt feelings hence making the Berkshires be gloomy. Regrettably, the action in film opens at Samuel J. Friedman Theatre a section of Manhattan Theatre Club, an environment which appears to be far contrived to cause a bigger implication on the play. The valued actress Blythe Danner like assorted players gets back to her country house within Williamstown, Massachusetts to enjoy summer stock. However, this lady accompanied by her family seems to be greatly disturbed by the memory of 41-years old daughter Kathy who passed away one year ago (Dolan 297).
Approaching from the grief-fest is Kathy’s widower, Walter, a well-recognized stage director who moved to chartbuster movie franchises, and another girlfriend known as Nell (Kate Jennings Grant). Nell is not having a good relationship with his daughter Susie who seems to be wise more than her years. Similarly, Kathy has failed his son Elliot who unintentionally fell in love with Nell while they were working together 11 years ago. On the other hand, Donald is purportedly influenced by Chekhov’s imitative situations and characters from ‘Uncle Vanya’ and ‘The Seagull’ to craft during the crafting of the play ‘The Country House’. Conceivably, this aspect explains the reason behind Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatist of ‘Time Stand Still’ and ‘Dinner with Friends’ is jumbled in this film (Dolan 297).
In spite of a rocky structure within this movie, there still exist some winning presentations. For instance, Danner is treated as strong and steadfast Anna, hence offering poise and gravity to woman mourning the death of her daughter and loss of her youthfulness. This venerable performer goes through the diverse material with ease and it is astonishing that she is the one leading the ship. Similarly, Steele in this play makes an emotional Broadway first appearance as Susie. This lady operates progressively off-Broadway for the precedent little years and she portrays dry humor in Susie’s logic and frankness while still outstanding defenseless (Dolan 300).
Additionally, Lange is conducting an excellent task of embodying Elliot’s nastiness and desperation. However, Margulies has not offered Elliot sufficient empathy to be anything but a scoundrel. As an alternative, he comes off as a bitter, an aggressive, and as a lazy curmudgeon who feels deceived by the world as well as everyone on it. For example, there is an instance where Walter tells him that he practically insist that people always hurt him. Indeed, this is a tough man to like and he is even a person whom it is harder to understand and investigate (Dolan 301).
Analysis of ‘The Country House’ in Perceptive of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross' Model
The Kubler-Ross model suggests a series of feelings experienced by terminally ill patients before death, whereas the five stages include anger, denial, depression, and acceptance and bargaining. In the denial stage, Donald Margulies’ actors are holding that encountered stressing issues are not realistic and they are trying to cling on preferable reality. For instance, Kathy and her family appear to be deeply disturbed and confused by the memory of 41-years old daughter, Kathy, who died a year ago. Indeed, the aspect of having one of their family members being not with them is leading them to depression stage and this is confirmed where this family stays silent, they don’t have outsiders with them in the house and they are also using most of the time in sullen and mourning (Dolan 302).
On the bargaining stage, Donald is has managed to give his play an aspect of hope where some characters are avoiding impacts of grief. Indeed the rocky setting of the play is reduced where Danner goes through the varied material with simplicity and this situation is giving the movie an astonishing mood. On the same note, Steele is making an emotional Broadway first facade as Susie. This lady is presenting a dry humor in Susie’s judgment and honesty despite appearing weak. Moreover, on the anger stage, we Lange having distraction and meanness traits which make him appear as an aggressive, lazy killjoy, and a bitter person who believes that he is living in a world filled with deception. Likewise, the movie is portraying Anna and her family being pungent of losing their next of kin and they are considering death being cruel. This resentment indicates that if they had power over the death they could have implemented it to get the girl back (Dolan 303).
In the acceptance stage, the grieving actors appear to embrace inevitable future through accepting what has already appeared and start appreciating the current life. In this play, the Festival role is an indication that Anna has accepted grief and therefore she returns to acting after spending one year mourning Kathy’s death. This fiesta is in commemoration of the death anniversary where Anna requested other family members to spend the weekend with her. Similarly, Walter is accompanied by Nell, his new lady in this festival and Michael Astor is present and they are ready to change the sorrowful trend into celebration. Indeed, this feast shows that everyone has accepted the loss and grief and they are ready to start new happy living (Dolan 304).
While summing up, the core message of Margulies’s play is sorrow and loss since the biggest part of the movie is contained with grieve, regretting, disappointed, hopeless, and angry people with bitterness. For instance, Donald has used Kathy’s death to bring about grief and loss theme in the play since all family members are bewailing this great loss. Moreover, Margulies has used Lange as a character with various traits such as anger and disappointment hence leading to the establishment of the thesis of loss (Dolan 301). Indeed, Lange is pessimistic of everything in the world since he feels cheated by the entire humanity.
Dolan, Jill. "Seeing Broadly: A Cultural Omnivore's Menu." Theatre Journal 67.2 (2015): 295-309. New York.
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