Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Waiting for Godot: Differences in Beckett's Play and the Mediated Version

What if anything is different in your appraisal of the play after watching (part of) the film adaptation?

When I read Waiting for Godot, I found it very unusual. It focuses on two men, Vladamir and Estragon, who are waiting for this mysterious man named Godot. They do not have a clear idea who he is or on the element of time. While waiting, they meet two other men, Pozzo and Lucky, who have a very interesting dynamic.

Vladimir, Estragon, and Lucky.*
After watching part of the film adaptation, I feel that there was some element of humor to the play. I had not really noticed it before, because I was so focused on the unusual character relations. Vladamir and Estragon play their lines off each other, which I had missed in the reading. When reading, I thought there was more animosity or at least rudeness between the two, but when you see it, it is really just two older men bantering with each other.

Vladimir and Estragon.*
I was very interested to see Pozzo and Lucky in the film adaptation because I did not really understand that situation. During the reading I was trying to figure out what was going on between the two, I even questioned if Lucky was actually human. After seeing the film, I'm not sure that I understand it better, but at least Lucky is human. Beckett wrote this after the Civil War, so I'm not sure what the relationship between the two is, since Pozzo is clearly an abusive master who plans on selling Lucky.

Vladimir and Estragon under the tree.*
The film adaptation allows for better understanding of how Vladamir and Estragon receive Lucky and Pozzo. While reading, I was not sure what to make of it, if they were happy to see him, nonchalant, or if they wanted to be rid of him. The film makes it appear that Vladamir and Estragon are intrigued by the situation, Pozzo is cunning, and that they might prefer being alone than remaining in that company.
The film makes Waiting for Godot seem less strange than it does while reading.

*All images obtained from Google Image Search.

No comments:

Post a Comment