Director: Leon Mitchell
Now you can choose your own path in perfect—perfect freedom.
- The Lady from the Sea, Henrik Ibsen
British film and television director Leon Mitchell’s debut film “Ellida” is a brilliant adaptation that pays homage to Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. The movie is based on the classic play “The Lady by the Sea” by Ibsen. The play is a revolutionary play and its main character Ellida Wangel has been a well appreciated character. The play revolves around the question of freedom and identity of women who are made to live like free slaves in the houses of their husbands.
The play carries certain bold female characters who have the courage and power to resist their vehemently patriarchal homes. The theme of identity and freedom of opinion played a crucial role in the classics as it also criticised the nineteenth century European society which was filled with subtle yet inherent misogyny.
Leon Mitchell has the gift of filmmaking. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in Guildford, Surrey, he became a member of the British Film Institute and Directors of UK. He has worked over various platforms and one of his recent television projects is the show “Dark Dreamers”.
Director Leon Mitchell has craftily picked up his characters and placed them in a setting where time does not play a crucial role. His movie thus echoes the age old troubles that have tormented people, especially women.
The film begins with Ellida’s narration of her life until she met the stranger, her former suitor who sways her troubled heart. The film then captures Ellida’s growth as a human being and her internal conflicts regarding her marital life and her heart’s wish. Leon Mitchell has brilliantly kept the timeframe of the movie away from his viewers. It can be assumed safely that the movie is set in a world much different from Ibsen’s but this little touch definitely adds a new dimension to the storyline and gives it its universality. The end of the movie leaves us with a sense of fulfilment as Ellida finally flies with all her glory. The movie is an ode to the classic play and also reminds us of other classic plays and movies like Candida by George Bernard Shaw and The Bridges of Madison County by Clint Eastwood. The film is a celebration of women and their freedom of choice.
The cast members have done a great job with their portrayal of their respective characters. Katrina Syran has breathed life into the classic heroine. Kris Wolf has portrayed her husband Doctor Wangel with utmost brilliance, Luca Molinari was terrific as the secretive Stranger. Ashley Robson has portrayed Arnholm. Chloe Wain Wright was smart as Bolette and Ellen Williams was amazing as Ibsen’s one of the most celebrated characters, Hilde. The other cast members are Anders Semb, Elliot Cable, Oscar Syran Hentsch, Peter Darnes and last but not the least, Benedicia Syran, who has portrayed young Ellida very gracefully.
Leon Mitchell has a flair for filmmaking and it is evident from his debut movie. His works predominantly focus on inspirational narrations which explore relationships and their purpose. Leon’s interest lies in drama based works that cover real life problems and their practical conclusion. His area of interest also lies with Children’s Stories.