6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
With great power - also comes great responsibility...,
By A Customer
This review is from: Oleanna (Paperback)
It is easy to fall into the belief that Mamet's talent is all in the dialogue, because, yes he is a sharp talker, a wisecracking,sharp shooter - but beyond this, he trades in the currency of ideas. His language may well be of the every day, and anyone who has seen "Glengarry Glen Ross" will be familiar with the style, which is, in short, with no pause for thought, Harold Pinter with balls. But it is a disservice to say he is a writer who is all words and no action.
In "Oleanna" the central theme is familiar - that with great power, comes great responsibility. A two hander, this play is tight. There is nothing superfluous. John, a college professor on the brink of career success, is confronted by student Carol who, as inarticulate as she is, finds a way of forcing him to face the facts that his generation has let down those whom he has - at least an implicit- responsibility to. Between their two viewpoints the drama, and conflict, derives.
This play is awe inspiring in that Mamet is able to pull off, with such economical means, a story which will leave you questioning generational interecation, the legitimacy of higher education, the nature of where one's responsibilities lie, and a whole host of questions around semantics.
Whether one watches this as a performed stage play, or reads it, there is a small intake of breath each time Mamet manages to turn the screw- and while you may well pride yourself on knowing where the course of such drama leads, this will leave you breathless. Even after the climax of the action, you will be questioning both protganists points of view, and find both of them both innocent, and guilty...
A deeply provocative piece which will have you questioning your own assumptions and values again and again - surely there are few dramatists alive today that force one to confront the uncomfortable trtuhs which our PC vocabulary runs shy of?