Marat/Sade

"Good"

Marat/Sade Review


Whether it's based on reality or not, Marat/Sade is an ambitious idea. The Marquis de Sade (Patrick Magee), often wrote and produced plays during his incarceration. Whether he made one about Jean-Paul Marat is debatable and this is certainly not based on anything Sade wrote.

Marat/Sade is actually a filmed version of a play written in the early 1960s (and fully titled The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat As Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of The Marquis de Sade) by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Ian Richardson plays the bathtub-bound Marat, and Glenda Jackson plays his assassin. The only problem, of course, is that in the world of the film, Richardson is a lunatic paranoid and Jackson is a narcoleptic depressive. This makes for some strange interpretations of history, mental illness, heroism, and politics -- and where we draw the lines among all these things.

In the end, Marat/Sade comes off as more of a joke than a think-piece, unfortunately. We laugh at the participants instead of pitying them. We don't think about history and its interpretation: We think instead about what kind of royal person would willingly subject themselves to a presentation of this play. The chaos that erupts is completely expected. Better idea: Have a group of royals present a play inside a mental institution, and see how the inmates respond...

Be warned: Even the DVD is grainy with awful audio.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 116 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 13th April 1967

Production compaines: Royal Shakespeare Company, Marat Sade Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 7.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Marquis de Sade, as Jean-Paul Marat, as Charlotte Corday, Jeanette Landis as Rossignol, as Herald, as Cucurucu, Hugh Sullivan as Kokol, as A Mad Animal, as Monsieur Dupere

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