Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Jeremy Irons, Ben Kingsley, and Patricia Hodge star in this rarely screened adaptation of one of Harold Pinter’s greatest plays, a semi-autobiographical portrait of an adulterous affair. In a unique structural gambit, nine scenes, each marking a significant stage in the development and termination of the affair, are presented in reverse order, starting at the bitter end and working their way back to the beginning. Kingsley is the husband with an unfaithful wife (Hodge) and a bad best friend (Irons). The reverse chronology frees the viewer to concentrate on the subtext: our age has sanctioned betrayal, and as betrayers, we get caught in a web of who knows what and when, and once the rules are broken, there is no one to trust. David Jones, who had previously worked with Pinter and Irons on the 1978 TV drama Langrishe, Go Down, stepped in to direct after Mike Nichols dropped out—and 30 years on Nichols would direct the recent Broadway production.