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Thursday, November 2, 2017

An Enemy Of The People (1980)

In a small coastal Scottish town, a pharmacist (Robert Urquhart) discovers that the water that is bottled in their town and sold for its health benefits is, in fact, being polluted by a nearby tanning factory and making people ill. He attempts to have his findings printed but he soon finds out that the town's leaders are against the idea since the news will have devastating effects on the town's economy. Based on the 1882 play by Henrik Ibsen, this particular production has taken liberties with Ibsen's play by updating it from 1880s Norway to 1980s Scotland. The baths of Ibsen's play have now become a water bottling plant. Also, Ibsen's references to eugenics have been eliminated since they wouldn't sit well with a contemporary audience. But what does this adaptation in are the indifferent performances and in the case of Urquhart, a seriously miscalculated one. The one exception is Robby McMillan as a manipulative labor leader. Ibsen's play is still incredibly relevant today especially in the face of a government looking after its own self interests rather than the interests of its citizens. With Edith MacArthur, Elizabeth Millbank, Maurice Roeves and Michael Sheard. 

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