Written by Eleanor.
Martha (Elizabeth Taylor) and George are a middle-aged couple, which at the opening scene of the movie seems to be quite happy. The movie follows one night of their married life, when Martha and George invite a young couple, Nick and Honey, at their house for drinks at a late hour. Martha and George start playing multiple games and drag the young couple within their troubled marriage and their destructive relationship.
Using the young couple as means to hurt and offend each other, Martha and George challenge their limits, they verbally and at some point physically hurt each other, they yell and manipulate their weaknesses. Both Martha and George reveal many things about their marriage and their past to the young guests and just like the young couple, the viewers do not know which of them are true. Each of them gives a different perspective of the same event, or a slightly changed one, which troubles us more and more. Trapped in the middle of a whirlpool of burst of anger, madness and emotions, characters and viewers experience the masochistic nature of human relationships, in which love, happiness and pain seem to constantly equated.
Exploring the fine line between reality and fiction, Martha and George make the viewers witnesses of a destructive and troubled relationship, which exposes the fluidity of Truth. Life itself, just like this relationship is complicated and has its ups and downs. Although Martha constantly belittles George, she admits that he is the only man in her whole life that made her happy.
Mike Nichols’ first perception of the original theatrical play staged in a theater scene, evolved into a visual adaptation and resembles a lot to a play at a theater. Staged mainly in the living room of the middle-aged couple, the movie focuses on the characters’ interactions and the actors’ performances. A stunning performance by Elizabeth Taylor, who wears heavy make-up to look like a middle-aged woman and she changes radically from a smiley and calm woman, to a neurotic one and she transforms happiness into madness and then into depression in every scene.
A classic that dives into the core of human relationships and raises many questions… Enjoy!