No one else could bring about such a stunning performance other than Dustin Hoffman. His portrayal of Willy garners so many emotions from the audience that I was left speechless throughout the film. A classic movie that is a must watch from a classic play that is a must see.
(4.5 stars) The play is THE seminal drama of the Modern American Theatre. It is Arthur Miller's masterpiece and is studied the world around. The film makes a bold attempt to capture the essence of the live performance, but even with the MASTERFUL cinematographer Michael Ballhaus the play cannot reach the dramatic heights of the story when seen live. The performances are grand, especially by Hoffman and Malkovich.
Shows the past of this salesman who is slowly losing his mind as he grows old. Lines between present and past are blurred as we see different characters in their young times and as they are now. People care about "Pa" but "Pa" just wants to be done and life to be okay.
Dustin Hoffman stars in this classic play-made-movie about pride, freedom, and contentedness. Willie Loman is a salesman struggling to make ends meet when his son, Biff played by John Malkovich returns home. In this movie, father-son conflict is a source of anxiety for the characters and audience alike, reminding us that sometimes fathers dream for their kids and try to live vicariously through them.
The setting and social context of the film provides an insight to the reality and dysfunction of the nuclear family in America at the time that the play was written. The pressure of neighborly competition, paternal expectations, and financial success are matched by mental illness, financial desperation, and angry delusion in the storyline.
Going into this movie I didn't expect much, but I once it was over I thought it was a great movie. It was a great rendition of an old classic play. It captured the intense emotion that these characters went through very well. When reading Death of a Salesman you can imagine what the characters are going through, but while watching it you can see the characters react. The movie was worth watching.
I watched this with my dad back when I was 16 years old. Never have I cried so much before or since at a movie. Timelessly sad in its theme of "a man's inability to accept change within himself and society." It's one of those stories that can be applied to everyone in a heartbreakingly relatable way. We all know, or are, Willy Lomans.
How do I rate this? As a film, I mean, cinematically, it's mediocre. And you don't get credit for Miller's genius. But man, it's a powerful play, and Hoffman's a devastating Willy Loman, and you've gotta get points for making such an accessible adaptation... Still, theatre's theatre, and I'd rather see it on stage. Ideally with a heartbreakingly beautiful 32-year-old Malkovich. But you can't have everything.
The great American play is brought to vivid life with this adaptation of the Broadway remounted production starring Dustin Hoffman as Willy Loman. All four principal parts are exceptionally cast especially a young John Malkovich as Biff. The stage bound conceit of the production however works against it and perhaps opening the production up would have worked in its favour.
No local high school production could have ever prepared me for the emotional core that this story gets to deliver here in Schlöndorff's adaptation. Staged like a top shelf theater production but with the intimacy only a camera can give you. We are given the opportunity to see every ounce of fear and memory grace Willie's face. Every bit of anxiety and conflict fall upon Biff. Something very unique was blended here.