Anne Hathaway in Grounded: EW theatre review
April 27, 2015 - accent chair
On Apr 23, a United States supervision announced that a troops worker strike opposite militant suspects in Pakistan had incidentally killed dual Western hostages—in further to a dictated targets. Drones—or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles—are a new terrain equalizer, yet one with surpassing and rare dignified implications. In an scary art-imitates-life coincidence, that is also a backdrop for Grounded, a one-woman uncover starring Anne Hathaway during The Public Theater by May 24.
The Oscar-winning singer plays a fierce, Wyoming-bred F-16 soldier pilot, a horseman of a immeasurable blue consternation who is reassigned to a “Chair Force” to remote-fly lethal Reaper drones in a Middle East while staring during a grainy, grey video shade a few miles outward of Las Vegas. An random pregnancy cost her a place in a cockpit, and when she suits behind adult after marrying an bargain lover and carrying a baby, she’s tasked with a videogame-like rapacious strikes that force her to redefine her soldier genius since there’s no risk—no tangible combat—8,000 miles divided from where her Sidewinders and Stingers will broach their moral vengeance.
For 85 minutes, Hathaway, clad mostly in her troops moody suit, flies solo, building a impression whose clarity of existence is solemnly slipping with a light inauspicious effects of a high-tech aria of PTSD. Armed with a clipped accent of Holly Hunter imitating Chuck Yeager, her character, a Pilot, is cocky and profane—a lady who legitimately feels castrated by her armchair assignment. Few actresses could pattern a spectrum of opposing emotions compulsory during such a extensive monologue, yet a genuine plea is divulgence them even while a impression doesn’t categorically acknowledge them. It’s a ethereal high-wire act that Hathaway navigates successfully.
The singer is severely assisted by executive Julie Taymor’s scenic-projection stagecraft that transforms a gangling postage-stamp sized theatre into a skies over Iraq, a roads outward Las Vegas, and a claustrophobic trailer where a Pilot rains Hellfires on a guilty. Rear-stage mirrors, slanted downward, have a inventive outcome of fixation a Pilot in a center of coexisting movement as videogame-like graphics and clear light creations are projected and reflected around her.
But while Hathaway gets a thespian examination and a crafty prolongation values are impressive, George Brant’s book is tormented by predictability—sapping a opening of a power. Even yet drones are now in a news—raising real-life questions about issues that Brant’s play directly addresses—the maze of UAVs and their impact on soldiers on both sides of a dispute aren’t as uninformed or fruitful in 2015, 3 years after a play primarily debuted. Even for those who haven’t delved deeply into a domestic and technological issues, a play’s account dots are rather easy to connect. There are really few G-forces in Grounded, and even with a luminary during a controls, a assembly knowledge never utterly rises above cruising altitude. B-