updated - January 19, 2020 Sunday EST
BBC One viewers were again taken into another era, when its newest TV movie premiered. Written by Andrew Davies, "A Poet in New York" touched the hearts of the small screen audience as it told the sad and haunting story of a brilliant poet, Variety reported.
"Watching a guy drink himself to death is never particularly fun and, in the case of a tortured artist, borders on cliché." Cliché as it may sound but that is exactly how Dylan Thomas life was, as shown in 'A Poet in New York' last week. Thomas, who died at the age of 39, was a brilliant poet who dealt with her inner demons especially in the later part of his life.
The TV movie opened with Thomas', played by Tom Hollander, arrival in the 1953 New York. The hopeful wordsmith is well-known during his time but his financial state in is a complete turmoil. He plans to go to California to do collaboration with Igor Stravinsky and his only source of money is through public appearance.
"A Poet in New York" then had several shifts that gave its audience a peek of Thomas' past and present struggles. Viewers then saw Thomas and his wife Caitlin back in Welsh in a turbulent marital relationship. Because of his monetary dilemmas, the wordsmith then resort in indulging himself with women and alcohol. His unstable state of mind and excessive drinking finally lead Thomas to his early death during a chilly November day in Chelsea Hotel.
Davies, noted for his works in "Mr. Selfridge" and "House of Cards," carefully thread Dylan Thomas' past and present experiences that made him suffer such a tragic and extremely lonely death. "His childhood was so important as an inspiration for so many of his greatest poems that I wanted to show him as a child," Davies said.
The writer successfully made a Dylan Thomas character that viewers understood and related in to. But it could have not been possible without Tom Hollander's dedication in his Thomas role. "His performance of the poems was so powerful, with such timing, that people who saw Thomas say this is as if he had come back from the dead," Davies said about Hollander.
Hollander's believable acting was a fruit of his laborious preparations for his brilliant wordsmith character. The Hollywood actor has indeed read, listen, and remember facts about Thomas' life to be able to understand where the struggling writer is coming from. A recently unearthed poem by Thomas greatly helped Hollander in understanding the source of the poet's demons. Hollander also had to eat a lot to add up some weight to be able to get Thomas' puffy look.
With the carefully written script and the lead actor's utmost commitment, "A Poetry in New York" was able to celebrate a sober life of a Dylan Thomas.
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