The hottest thing on Broadway right now is the Mike Nichols directed revival of one Harold Pinter’s late plays, “Betrayal.” Starring Daniel Craig it is breaking box-office records and raking in $400 a seat if you REALLY want to see it that badly. Let me tell you to rush to refund your ticket money, because you’re going to feel betrayed by “Betrayal.”
It’s really not much of anything. And oh, it goes BACKWARDS in time. As if it needs some kind of pretension of depth, of which there seems to be none.
It’s not chilling or threatening or any of the other Harold Pinter hallmarks.
I must admit, I’m in the John Simon camp of critics on this one. I’m not a fan, and always feel like he’s getting away with something. In “Betrayal,” he IS getting away with something and it’s YOUR MONEY, if you’re stupid enough to spend it on this hyped-up piece of trash.
Oh yes, I do love Daniel Craig. Who doesn’t? But onstage he does not have the same presence he has on film. He holds back. And though he comes from a solid British stage background, you’d never know it. He seems charisma-free.
His wife, the Academy Award winning actress Rachel Weisz, never seems to miss hitting the bulls-eye in any film I’ve seen her in. Again that cinematic presence and chemistry does not translate on stage. At least not here.
And she’s playing opposite her husband, as his wife, and there’s zero electricity between them.
The Brits have never seemed so cold or distasteful to me as they do here in “Betrayal”. Perhaps that’s Pinter’s point. To make you have the ’70s London literary set…But…somehow I think that’s not what was meant.
Whatever was meant is not meant here as this production means absolutely nothing. It was only 90 mins. It was 90 mins. too long.