Watch Under the Volcano
- 1 hr 52 min
Under the Volcano is a British-American drama film directed by John Huston and released in 1984. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Malcolm Lowry and tells a story of an alcoholic ex-British consul named Geoffrey Firmin, who is living in Mexico in the year 1938. The lead role of Geoffrey Firmin was played by Albert Finney, and the film's cast also included Jacqueline Bisset and Anthony Andrews.
The story of Under the Volcano takes place on the Day of the Dead, November 2, 1938, in a small town called Quauhnahuac, in the shadow of two massive smoking volcanoes. It's the tenth anniversary of Geoffrey Firmin's divorce from his wife, Yvonne, and the anniversary of his sister's suicide. Geoffrey Firmin is a tragic figure, a broken alcoholic, who has been living in exile in Mexico since losing his post as a British consul in the city of Vera Cruz. Jeffrey's alcoholism has ruined his professional and personal relationships, including his marriage to Yvonne. He spends most of his days in bars and cantinas, and his nights in the arms of prostitutes. Geoffrey Firmin has few left in the world, but his devoted brother, Hugh, played by Anthony Andrews, has flown in from the United States to spend the day with him and try to help him.
Jacqueline Bisset plays Yvonne's character, and she too returns to Mexico after receiving a letter from her ex-husband asking for a reconciliation. Yvonne's talk of love gives hope to Geoffrey, but her underlying intentions are not what they seem. Like her ex-husband, Yvonne is also seeking refuge but from her own troubles, and she plans to leave Mexico the same night, causing Geoffrey to spiral out of control.
The film is shot on location, giving the viewer a sense of the place and time in which the story takes place. The colorful and bustling streets of Mexico City provide the backdrop for Geoffrey's journey of self-destruction. The dusty hills and remote villages separate Geoffrey from the woman he loves and the possibility of redemption. Director John Huston takes viewers on a visceral journey into the depths of Jeffrey's psyche, echoing the novel's stream of consciousness style. Everything is fused together: past and present, memory and hallucination. The imagery used in the film is striking and full of symbolism, with the volcanoes representing the inner turmoil of Geoffrey and the unstable nature of life itself.
Albert Finney delivers a powerful performance as Geoffrey Firmin, playing the broken and haunted protagonist with aplomb. His portrayal of the character's alcoholism is incredibly raw and honest, making the viewer feel the pain and desperation of his addiction. Jacqueline Bisset also gives a standout performance as Yvonne, portraying the character's emotional turmoil with a quiet and understated intensity. Anthony Andrews' Hugh provides a counterweight to Geoffrey, presenting a level-headed and hopeful character who serves as the voice of reason throughout the film.
Overall, Under the Volcano is a masterful adaptation of Lowry's novel, with John Huston capturing the essence of the story through his skillful direction and the remarkable performances of the cast. The film is a haunting and unforgettable portrait of a man grappling with his demons amidst a backdrop of political turmoil and personal tragedy. It's a must-see for fans of literary adaptations, character-driven dramas, and powerful storytelling.
Under the Volcano is a 1984 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 52 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.9 and a MetaScore of 70.