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People, Places, & Things, and Endings


People, Places, & Things

Playwright: Duncan Macmillan

Director: Jeremy Herrin

People, places, and things.

We are all powerless over these.

But, be it as it may, movies have a way of suggesting there’s always going to be a solution to it, our powerlessness. At least that’s what movies I watched last week seemed to suggest. That it’s either we’ll walk into doom, or come out of it by some strange miracle, say, by our writer’s afforded convenience.

These movies that I ended up watching (yeah, I just ended up watching five movies in one week) left me annoyed. Their endings did––they were too sure and easy a conclusion. What added to that annoyance was the fact that they followed a pattern: their characters weren’t society-favorites, say gay, or addicts, or this color or that, other minorities, and how their stories ended didn’t seem to matter to their makers, they had two ways out: happy ending, or a dog’s death. Why? Why that easy––heads or tail? By way of oversimplifying the ending, not only is it ripping potential complexities off of its characters but also it is saying that as audiences this is what we will be served, this what we deserve.

I have a problem with that, the way I have issues against stereotyping people.

So, when over the weekend, my family and I went to watch an off-Broadway play, People, Places, & Things, which my brother mentioned was about an alcoholic in recovery, I thought, here, we go again. Fives movies a week, then a play… I was sure I could predict the character’s fate. Sarah, her name. Or maybe, Lucy. Or maybe, Emma. You have to watch it and find out for yourself. All I will add is that, thanks to the writer’s efforts, the character doesn’t find an easy way out, doesn’t force us out of the theater frustrated. My weekend wasn’t spoiled.

It helps that as writers we aren’t powerless over people, places, and things, and how they end.

~ Hardik Yadav


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