Owen Gleiberman
March 15, 1991 AT 05:00 AM EST

Closet Land

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
89 minutes
performer
Alan Rickman, Madeleine Stowe
director
Radha Bharadwaj
Producer
Brian Grazer
distributor
Universal
author
Radha Bharadwaj
genre
Drama, Horror

We gave it a D-

The minutes crawl by during this fancifully abstract two-character piece, which stars Alan Rickman — such a terrific villain in the first Die Hard — as a steely interrogator who spends months torturing an innocent author of children’s books (Madeleine Stowe). Her crime? Writing a nice little story that has been construed as ”subversive” by the Powers That Be (just who they are is left intentionally vague). She, however, proves stronger than her accusers. As she keeps repeating, they can break her body but they can’t break her mind. The movie, which has the feel of some didactic Off Off Broadway production left over from 1972, is set entirely in one gray marble room — a kind of stylized Bauhaus torture chamber. The moral scheme is, to put it mildly, basic: Closet Land is squarely on the side of innocent women who write children’s books and squarely against the vile fascist monsters who torture them.

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