all that could go wrong with such an intensely personal and utterly ambitious script, primarily intended for the theatre, when adapted to a TV format, without taking into consideration the limitations and possibilities inherent in the chosen format.
The good thing about the TV adaptation was that the technology allowed the director Glenn Jordan to extend a life like veracity to the essentially phantasmagoric nature of the imaginary and psychotic conversations of the central character Jake played by Alan Alda. As evident most of these conversations take place in Jake’s head, which are readily conveyed and managed with dissolves on the TV adaptation, which makes them more realistically perceivable as compared to the stage adaptation, which bothered by the expected constraints had to convey the concept by pulling off the characters imagined by Jake.
However, the direction failed to grasp that the TV screen affords a much wider canvass that needs to be filled in by much movement, change of scenery and background, over dramatization of action and emotion to make the overall impact more gripping and interesting for the audience. In that context, the movie was a big failure. Though the performance by Alan Alda was almost flawless, yet the direction left much to be desired. It goes without saying that the story to begin was definitely too long. To make the matters worse, the failure on the part of the direction to enliven and embellish it with compatible and commensurate action, movement and editing made the whole experience seem depressingly claustrophobic and boring. It would not be a surprise to say that by the time the ordeal ended, most of the audiences were already anxiously waiting for it to end. Director Glenn Jordan was obviously carried away with his obsession with the theatrical devices, like making Jack talk to the camera as narrator, accompanying the entrance and exist of characters by lighting changes and the like to pragmatically remember that he was
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