Hedda Gabler

Watch Hedda Gabler

  • NR
  • 1993
  • 2 hr 7 min
  • 8.0  (47)

Hedda Gabler, released in 1993, is a film adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's classic play of the same name. Directed by Sir Richard Eyre, it stars Fiona Shaw as the title character and features performances by Brid Brennan and Susan Colverd. The story centers around Hedda Gabler, the daughter of an aristocratic family, who has recently married George Tesman, a young scholar with limited means. Hedda is intelligent and beautiful, but harbors a deep dissatisfaction with her life and marriage. As the film opens, the couple returns from their honeymoon to a new home that George has purchased in order to pursue his academic career.

Hedda initially seems content with their new life together, but as the days pass, her dissatisfaction grows. She clashes with George's Aunt Julie, who has come to visit, and seems to resent the intrusion into her new home. She is also visited by Judge Brack, an old friend of her husband's who takes a keen interest in Hedda and her affairs.

As the film unfolds, Hedda's discontent boils over, and she becomes increasingly manipulative and cruel. She revels in her power over the people around her, using her beauty and wit to toy with their emotions and desires. She becomes fixated on a pair of pistols that belonged to her father, and makes a fateful decision that will change the course of her life forever.

The performances in Hedda Gabler are nothing short of stunning. Fiona Shaw is mesmerizing as the title character, capturing every aspect of Hedda's complex personality with precision and skill. She is by turns charming and vicious, vulnerable and ruthless, and always utterly captivating. Brid Brennan and Susan Colverd are also excellent in their roles, bringing depth and complexity to the characters of Aunt Julie and George's former flame, Thea, respectively.

The film's direction is equally impressive. Sir Richard Eyre brings a sense of intensity and urgency to the story, never allowing the pacing to drag or the tension to sag. The sets and costumes are lavish and striking, perfectly capturing the opulence of Hedda's world and the contrast between her life of luxury and the bleakness of her inner turmoil.

One of the film's greatest strengths is its adherence to Ibsen's original script. The dialogue is sharp and insightful, and the themes of power, desire, and societal expectations are as relevant today as they were when the play was first performed in 1891. Eyre's direction and the performances of the cast bring depth and nuance to these themes, making them feel fresh and urgent.

In conclusion, Hedda Gabler is a masterful adaptation of one of Henrik Ibsen's most iconic plays. Fiona Shaw delivers a powerful performance as the title character, and the film as a whole is a testament to the enduring relevance of Ibsen's themes and ideas. Fans of the play will appreciate the faithfulness of the adaptation, while newcomers to the story will be captivated by the drama and tension that unfolds on screen. Overall, this is a film that is not to be missed.

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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 7 min
  • IMDB Rating
    8.0  (47)