Without a Title (About Natasha Richardson)

Had I been blogging several years ago, I’d be in the same state of shock upon hearing of Falco’s death. But sadly, I knew very little about him then and didn’t even react to the news, if I noticed it at all (and I was still in Russia then, very far away from the world of music, though not from music itself). And I didn’t see some of the films with Natasha Richardson they mentioned everywhere, like The Parent Trap. And I didn’t realise whose wife she was until the news about the accident began to come in. Although, of course, I knew about her mother and sister.

I don’t know if I saw any films with Natasha before 2005. But in late 2005 I went to see Asylum at Cornerhouse in Manchester. A riveting adaptation by David Mackenzie of the novel by Patrick McGrath saw Richardson not only as the leading actress but also as an Executive Producer. The performance from the four leading actors – Hugh Bonneville, Richardson, Ian McKellen, and Marton Csokas – was so intense, it took me a few weeks to get over it. I remember thinking that certain things could be done differently and possibly even better, and that it was beginning with the novel itself. But in perspective, Asylum seems now to be a tragic story of a woman who was torn between masculine preconceptions, societal expectations, and her own character. This is something that is seen in this short extract from the film.

I called this post “without a title” because nearly three years ago I experienced a sudden loss of a relative who was dear and close to me. It wasn’t an accident; if anything, it was a spectacular flop on the doctors’ side, and what had taken a matter of days over in America in 2009, had dragged on for two weeks in England in 2006. Apparently, in neither case there was any thought that this could be fatal. And yet it was… So, whilst tributes come in to the outstanding acting talent, my thoughts are entirely with Natasha’s family. I know their pain, and I hope our thoughts help them.

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