Thursday 14 June
David Hugh Jones | 1983 | GB | 95'
He: 'You remember the form: I ask about your husband and you ask about my wife.'
She: 'Yes of course. How is your wife?'
Betrayal, the semi-autobiographical play by Harold Pinter was taken to the silver screen in 1983 by David Jonas. Although the film is about him (the protagonist) and her betraying their best friend and husband respectively by having an affair, the actual betrayal is far deeper and intrinsic than our protagonist knows. In reverse chronology the film reveals the history the oblivious protagonist has believed to be, and rewrites it with what actually was the case. Years and years of guilt and secrecy transform. The reverse chronology of the screenplay and the intimate, closed-off spaces in which the haunting scenes take place haven proven brilliant for its adaptation to film (in space and time it can be compared to Scenes of a Marriage - Ingmar Bergman, in reverse). The reverse chronology of the film is probably the film's strongest device for disentangling the intricate combination of lies, guilt and illusions around this affair. Add to this the remarkable performances of Ben Kingsley (icy), an oblivious-to-everything Jeremy Irons, and a strikingly enigmatic Patricia Hodge… Chill-ly, revealing and brilliant.
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