Death And The Maiden Movie Review

Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley are together in Roman Polanski's new film, Death and the Maiden, a haunting and powerful work of genius. Based on the acclaimed stage play, the story goes that Weaver is the wife of rich South American lawyer/politician Gerardo Escobar (played by Stuart Wilson), and they live alone in the wilderness of this unnamed country. One day, Dr. Miranda (Kingsley) shows up at the house after helping Escobar with a flat tire, and he comes in for a drink.

Paulina (Weaver) begins to inexplicably break down after his arrival, going so far as to sneak out of the house and destroy Miranda's car. Only when she returns do we discover the shocking reason for this insanity. Paulina suspects Miranda was the doctor who tortured and raped her 15 years earlier: the doctor, she says, who played the Schubert composition "Death and the Maiden" while he applied his evil ministrations. Paulina then turns the tables, tying Miranda up, beating him, and holding an impromptu trial to get his confession to the deeds.

Weaver is absolutely on fire in this role. I couldn't believe my eyes or ears watching her on screen. Kingsley is excellent as well, and he does a great job of keeping you guessing "Did he or didn't he?" Even Wilson, as the up-and-coming lawyer who stands to have his career (and mental health) ruined by the night's events, is convincing in his balance of logical thought and passion for his wife.

Death and the Maiden lacks that gritty edge-of-your-seat suspense but makes up for it with a sick-to-your-stomach feeling through Paulina's recreations of her torture. As a study of paranoia, mental anguish, and the morality of revenge, Death and the Maiden is a stunning success.

Comments

Death And The Maiden Rating

" Extraordinary "

Rating: R, 1994

Advertisement

More Sigourney Weaver

Exodus: Gods and Kings Trailer

Director Ridley Scott (Alien, Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven) talks about world of his new film, 'Exodus: Gods and Kings'. The film follows the life of...

See Heavily Eye-Linered Christian Bale As Moses In Ridley Scott's 'Exodus: Gods And Kings' [Trailer & Pictures]

Director Ridley Scott has dealt with some epic stories whether it's the might of the Roman Empire and the obsession with gladiators, slavering murderous aliens...

Exodus: Gods And Kings Trailer

Moses and the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses grew up together as brothers after the former was saved from drowing in the Nile. However, Moses has not...

Sigourney Weaver Returning To Star In Upcoming 'Avatar' Trilogy In New Role

Sigourney Weaver will be returning to star in James Cameron's forthcoming 'Avatar' trilogy. The casting confirmation, which was made on Monday (June 9th) by the...

Advertisement

Back From The Dead! Sigourney Weaver's 'Avatar' Character Will Appear In All Sequels

Sigourney Weaver will appear as her Avatar character Grace Augustine in each of James Cameron's three sequels, despite having been killed in the first movie....

Sigourney Weaver Is Confirmed for 'Avatar' Sequels in New Role

Sigourney Weaver’s character may have expired in James Cameron’s smash hit, but that doesn’t mean she can’t – in the universe of Avatar – return...

What's So Great About 'Ghostbusters'? Erm, How About Everything?

The 30th anniversary of Ghostbusters is speedily approaching. Can you believe that the iconic movie is nearly 30 years old? It’s hard to because it’s...

'Alien 5' Is Basically Happening. Ok, So Sigourney Weaver Wants It To.

Sigourney Weaver may not be done with the Alien movies just yet. The sci-fi franchise has moved in a different direction with the Prometheus films...

Advertisement