Calling all Chekhov fans! The best part of Malcolm Venville’s Henry’s Crime is its use and interpretation of Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard. Keanu Reeves’s character ends up co-starring in the play across from Vera Farmiga’s character, integral to his plan to rob the bank he was already wrongly convicted of robbing. Below, Venville explains to us the use of The Cherry Orchard in the film:
“The Cherry Orchard is known as a drama but originally Chekhov wrote it as a comedy. Stanislavski directed the first production of the play in Russia as a tragedy, which apparently chagrined poor Chekhov no end. In our movie, the play is a tragedy and the charm of the play is evident with the interplay of the two lovers in the movie (Keanu Reeves, Vera Farmiga) brought together by the need to rob a bank. For those unfamiliar with the play, it needed to be easily comprehended and for those familiar with Madame Ranevskaya and Lophakin, they could hopefully enjoy the subtle mirroring between art and life in the script that Sacha Gervasi created…
Henry’s Crime is now playing at select theaters. Check out a clip of Orchard‘s director (played by Peter Stormare) dealing with his diva actress.
…Vera’s Madame Ranevskaya is an impoverished aristocrat who struggles to change to modern life and Reeves’ Lophakin is a businessman of peasant origin in love with her. The characters in the play end up reflecting the true desires of the film’s lovers.”