Friday, 16 May 2014

Double Jeopardy Part I [Review: Muppets Most Wanted]

I waited years for a decent adaptation of Dostoyevsky's The Double - then two come along at once! A sincere but naive young man works in a backbreaking and thankless role - managing a cabaret show. Every decision he takes seems to backfire, and just when things can't get any worse a mysterious stranger appears, almost identical to the hero yet effortlessly popular and successful, and worse - nobody else notices the difference.

There are many ways of indicating to the audience that what they are watching is actually psychodrama. Muppets Most Wanted takes an unusual approach. At first glance everything appears normal but if you look closely you may notice that almost all of the characters are portrayed by brightly coloured puppets, clearly to indicate that they are aspects of Kermit's splintered personality.

The cause of the splintering becomes clear: Kermit's longstanding internal conflict over his feelings for Miss Piggy. Now his ego is banished to a metaphorical Siberian prison while his id, in the form of Constantine, runs the show in more ways than one. However a series of subtle cinematic devices serve to indicate that they are two sides of the same frog - the beauty spot that supposedly distinguishes them but can appear or disappear too easily, or the beautifully filmed scene where the two characters see each other through a mirror. Admittedly it's a loose adaptation but I think Dostoyevsky would be proud to think that his work had inspired this intelligent and challenging film.


Maurice Mitchell said...

This movie is a lot deeper than I thought. I'll have to watch this classic art film. LOL Very funny stuff

Theresa H Hall said...

I don't know how I will convince my jazz playing husband to take me to see this in the theatre. I'll have to trick him. What fun these characters are.