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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Coast of Utopia: Salvage

Before anybody lavishes more praise on Tom Stoppard's trilogy or attacks it with an inevitable (and unenviable) backlash, let me go on the record as saying that Salvage is my favorite part of Coast of Utopia. Whether or not this would have been the same without having my expectations lowered by the second part, Shipwreck, or if Jack O'Brien were not such a talented and visual director (and almost certainly a soon-to-be Tony winner), I can't say. I do miss Billy Crudup in this final installment -- surely they could have worked in a part for him, as they have for returning character actors David Harbour and Richard Easton, or at the least, given him a cameo in one of the lively and creative dream sequences. But I won't debate directorial decisions: the tragic comedy is clearer now without melodrama cluttering the frame, and the revolutionary struggle has risen to the forefront with Herzen's struggle to find a means to express and keep up with the times, and characters like Bakunin are so established by now that they practically sing their lines, even as their faces decay under the expert touch of the makeup artists. This is a remarkable conclusion to the trilogy, even if the final thirty minutes jump around a little too much into the neat little corners of a bow, and the work has aged well since it started with Voyage back in November. This is a must see, folks.

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1 comment:

Cameron said...

In response to your comments on my blog:

1. Yes, the Ogarevs would've made a great reality show.

2. The Osbournes owe the Ogarevs royalties.