Film Review: Hedwig and the Angry Inch

The main actor in the above film is John Cameron Mitchell, who plays the character of Hedwig. Playing the character of Hedwig, the main actor has two objectives to play. The major objective is fitting in as a woman, after the sex changing operation, with a minor objective of succeeding in a rather troubled rock music career. There was a couple of ways to achieving the above objectives. For instance, using temporary hormone injections would have helped the actor achieve a more defined feminine look to fit better in the character. The actor was excellent in playing out the main objective. The feminine attire and simulated moody attitude were exemplary. There were some obstacles along the way. The deep masculine sound remained, while it was using wigs in rock concerts risked them falling off. However, a strategic decision helped solve the above obstacles. The character used a lot of sad songs, first camouflaging the deep voice in the remorse, and secondly, reducing the tempo of the performance and thus the risk of the wig falling off.

The character faced a couple of conflicts over the progress of the film. Ideally, it is easy to characterize them in a diverse manner. To portray a man vs. man conflict, the case of the lawsuit with Tommy Gnosis surfaces as a good example. On the other hand, there was the instance of man vs. society as illustrated by the fact that Hedwig had to have a sex change operation for him to marry Luther in Germany. The character also had some man vs. self-conflicts. The above conflict surfaces in his constant inner questioning with respect to his choices in life, especially in matters of love. “It is clear that I must find my better half. But it is she or he?” features as an illustration of the man vs. self-conflict (18:30). In the character, the actor had some alternatives to approaching the above conflicts. For one, the character should have embraced the fact that society is not always right in making general decisions. Secondly, the character should have spent enough time reflecting on the best way to counter any arising conflict. Some of the conflicts above were effectively dramatized in the film. There is an instance where the character was so petty about putting a brassiere in the dryer (43:45). There is also a scene where the character tries to force love her like he should (1:02:20). Overall, the performance depicts conflict evenly in the film.

About character role, Hedwig rather surfaces as a willing hero. Ideally, Hedwig fits in the definition of a willing hero, that is; he exhibits the aspect of challenging nature. Even in the presence of an escape possibility, Hedwig chooses to ignore it and continue in his ways. Changing his sex was by his will to marry Luther – he could have chosen not to. More so, after the United States, he watched the television the restoration of peace and freedom happened in Germany but chose to remain in the United States (36:20). Also, after the frustration following his initial relationship with Luther, Hedwig pushed on loving another man. Despite the fact that his new found love, Tommy Gnosis indicated strong signs of lack of attraction to his manly body, Hedwig continues to share with him in hope that he would accept him one day. Throughout the entire film, most of the challenges the character have been as a result of the character’s reluctant nature with respect to using alternative options that could have been easier. The character thus stands out as a willing hero.

In the above movie, the character explores the rather sensitive society and cultural value systems. However, the system values upon which the character explores could be of a challenge to the actor. Ideally, liberality is an aspect featuring in every human being. Actors, away from their character roles, are liberal thinkers too. In light of the above, there could be a probability that the actor has a negative perception in the culture of changing sex or cross dressing.

Alberta Watson, in the character of Hedwig’s mother, portrays both a mentor and a dutiful mother. She does not disagree with the character’s personal choices. She only advises the character on matters to do with general respect, as children ought to learn (19:40). The above illustrates the fact that she is a dutiful woman. More so, having raised her son single-handedly adds more to the aspect of dutifulness in her character. Besides to dutifulness, the character of Hedwig’s mother stands out as a mentor. When he introduces Luther to his mother and declares the intention to marry and go to the United States with him, she assists in decision making to counter the underlying challenges. She even offers her passport to see to it that Hedwig’s dream comes true

The film exhibited a significant degree of comedy – both verbal and physical. The main character said relatively funny things without much physical emphasis – as if not meant to be funny but turning out to be. The character turned up to be funny during the normal interaction that is the basis upon which verbal comedy finds its basis. For instance, the character, after the sex change operation notes the blood and casually says, “It is just my first day as a woman and it’s already the time of the month” (32:05). On the other hand, a physical comedy also surfaced in various scenes. A good example is when the character is deserted by everybody for disregarding them. The character goes outside and sits on a wall opposite a wall with a sign that read, “Do Not Place Garbage against This Wall at Anytime” (1:05:35). There was a girl leaning on that wall thus making the reference to garbage seem directed to the character.

In delivering the genre of the film, the actor played portrayed and exemplary delivery. The above film is a musical. The actor expressed a knowledgeable know-how with respect to achieving a spectacular performance in terms of both dialog and music. The actor clearly integrates songs with lyrics heavily intended to pass the message. With respect to the emotions and plans expected from the character played by the actor, the actor successfully uses the songs them.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a significantly stylized film. One important factor notable from the main actor is his ability to truthfully connect with his character. The actor portrayed the anticipated emotions expected from a character in the shoes of Hedwig. He portrayed realistic emotions for love, for despair, for defeat and range, just like a real person under such circumstances would.  For instance, the actor, playing a scene where the character was emotionally broken and got hysterical in the way a real person under circumstances would (43:45).

As a musical the main actor successfully applied the same objectives and character development techniques in the song. In his Hedwig character, he effectively narrated the story of this life through the conversations he had with various other characters. In the featured songs, he continued to tell the story of his life thus moving the plot of the film forward. A good example is when he narrates the story of his relationship with Luther before marriage (27 min). However, the same style is consistent throughout the film.

Work Cited

Hedwig and the Angry Inch. 2001. Web. 2 June 2015.

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