Jude Law plays the magnetically handsome, down-at-heel Gino in a new stage adaptation of Visconti’s penetrating social drama directed by Ivo van Hove.Drifter Gino, powerful and graceful as a puma, encounters Giuseppe and his much younger, trapped wife Giovanna at their roadside restaurant and petrol station. He and Giovanna are so irresistibly attracted to one another they begin an affair while plotting to murder her husband. But the crime does not unite them in this chilling story where passion can lead only to destruction.
Visconti’s first feature film Obsession (1943), based on James M Cain’s novel The Postman Always Rings Twice, gave rise to Italian neorealism, a cinematic movement highlighting the struggles of ordinary people in a time of upheaval. As Van Hove’s fourth Visconti production, it features a company of Dutch and British actors led by Law, whose charismatic stage and screen performances have established him as one of the foremost actors of his generation.
Obsession is one of four Toneelgroep Amsterdam plays presented here in 2017. See Roman Tragedies in March and After the Rehearsal/ Persona in September.
Age guidance 14+ (contains adult themes)
Performed in English
The most provocatively illuminating theatre director right now
Jude Law is muscular and brooding but wooden.
The problem is that by turning the characters into archetypes, van Hove deprives them of their humanity.