Part three of a four-part review.3:15 P.M. “If you knew all the yams I have to tell them,” one character says, according to the supertitles. I am briefly interested, until I realize they are yarns and not yams. Pyotr is trying to recruit Nikolai to be part of his terrorist plot. This is such an amazing scene in the book. They’re saying practically the exact lines Dostoevsky wrote, and they aren’t bad actors, but somehow the effect isn’t there. It’s really weird. Maybe it is like the movie where the souls are put into storage.
3:31 P.M. Another great scene from the book—Shatov tells Nikolai Stavrogin, “Remember the importance you have had in my life, Stavrogin”—part of a sequence of scenes where Nikolai visits different people and they all project various completely demented fantasies onto him (because they are possessed). But I’m not feeling it. I like the actor who plays Shatov—he reminds me a bit of Oscar the Grouch. I feel affectionately every time he pops up again out of his depressing cell. But I don’t believe it when he says that he is a worm and Nikolai is the sun.
The piano is punctuating every other line with ominous clunking sounds. Sometimes someone hits the strings with a hammer. It doesn’t help.
3:45 P.M. They are still introducing new characters. They only just got to Fedka the convict.
3:50 P.M. Neck and shoulder pain have set in. Captain Lebyadkin wants to write a will leaving his skeleton to students. A label on the skull will read: “A Repentant Freethinker.” “You’re getting rid of me like an old slipper?” Lebyadkin shouts to Nikolai. This sounds funny in Italian, because the word for slipper is ciabatta.
3:59 P.M. The lame retarded girl has been shrieking for four minutes now about a knife.
4:07 P.M. Nikolai and Gaganov are fighting a duel. It takes forever. The seconds are marking off the paces, putting up the barriers. I always wondered what the barriers in a duel looked like. In this case, they look like unpainted construction barriers.
Kirilov looks kind of Jewish.
4:10 P.M. They are finally done choosing their weapons.
4:14 P.M. The first shots are finally fired. Gaganov shoots Nikolai in the hand, but Nikolai shoots in the air. The guns are really loud. A crazy-sounding old guy in the audience roars with laughter. I’ve been noticing for a while now in the audience: less knowing meta-theatrical laughter, and more random crazy-person laughter. Read More